Gareth Bale was tempted by a move to Cardiff City but the offer tabled by Los Angeles FC proved "too attractive to turn down", according to Bluebirds owner Vincent Tan.

Wales international Bale confirmed in a video posted on social media on Sunday that he will join MLS side LAFC when his Real Madrid contract expires later this week.

The 32-year-old had also been linked with Madrid-based Getafe, which he categorically ruled out, as well as former side Tottenham and hometown club Cardiff among others.

Bale is reported to have held talks with Cardiff boss Steve Morison during a recent trip to the club's training base, which they share with the Wales national side.

Cardiff owner Tan has confirmed the Welsh side were in for the forward, but they were unable to match the terms offered by LAFC – even if money was not the decisive factor.

"We were very, very keen and of course it would have been a big coup for us and would have been great for Gareth Bale to play for his hometown," Tan told talkSPORT.

"We tried our very best, but we failed. Everybody would be happy if Gareth Bale returned home and played in Cardiff, but unfortunately the offer was too attractive to turn down.

"He actually originally wanted to come, money wasn't the matter. We still tried to come up with a good offer for him.

"But finally we had to compete when there is a lot of big American advertisers. The commercial deals there were very good, the commercial deal was very good for Gareth Bale."

 

Bale is to join LAFC on a year-long contract using targeted allocation money, taking him through until the World Cup, where Wales will compete after a 64-year absence.

The Southampton academy product reportedly has the option to stay on for the 2023 season, but Tan has not ruled out a switch to Cardiff next year to see out his career.

"His contract is for 12 months. We will see what happens. Maybe in 12 months Gareth will want to come back and come home, serve Cardiff, his hometown," Tan said.

"He has never played in Cardiff, a club he and his family are fans of. Hopefully in 12 months, he's still young, he will come back at 35 and some play until they are 40 years old.

"He's still got a few years and hopefully he will come and play for Cardiff. It wasn’t really about the money. Gareth wanted to help Cardiff and help Wales. 

"It wasn't really the money – that's why we could negotiate with him. He tried his best, but I think the offer from LAFC is too big to turn down."

Bale's signing boosts an LAFC side who already lead the Supporters' Shield race and have also secured Giorgio Chiellini ahead of the MLS transfer window opening next month.

The pair could therefore make their debuts in El Trafico against rivals LA Galaxy on July 8.

Wayne Rooney has resigned as Derby County manager after a "rollercoaster" reign, the former Manchester United and England star said on Friday.

Rooney took his first role in management when he was appointed at Derby in November 2020, and faced a difficult challenge as the club were blighted by off-field issues.

Derby were relegated from the Championship at the end of last season after having 21 points deducted, 12 for entering administration and nine for historical financial breaches under former owner Mel Morris.

The Rams will be playing in the third tier for the first time since the 1985-86 season, yet Derby had hoped to keep Rooney.

American businessman Chris Kirchner expressed an interest in acquiring the club and was named preferred bidder by administrators in April, but he pulled out earlier in June.

Rooney, who was linked to Everton before Frank Lampard was named manager, says he has kept a close eye on Derby's ownership developments but has decided to resign.

"Over the course of the summer I have been closely following developments regarding the ownership of Derby County," Rooney said, in a statement released on the club's website.

"Today I met with the administrators to inform them of my decision that it was time for me to leave the club. In fairness to them, they tried tremendously hard to change my decision, but my mind was made up.

"My time at the club has been a rollercoaster of emotions, both highs and lows, but I have to say that I have enjoyed the challenge. Personally, I feel the club now needs to be led by someone with fresh energy and not affected by the events that have happened over the last 18 months.

"I will remember my time at Derby with great pride and affection and would like to thank all my staff, players and of course the fans for their incredible support. I will never forget you and hope to see you all again in the near future and in happier times.

"Finally, I am aware that the club still have interested parties who wish to take over the running of the club. To them I say this, Derby County is a great club with a great history and great fans. I wish you all the best and much success for the future."

Burnley manager Vincent Kompany has acknowledged the Clarets were always likely to lose their more valuable players after Premier League relegation.

The 36-year-old former Manchester City defender took over at Turf Moor after leaving Belgian club Anderlecht, where he spent three years.

Burnley are returning to the Championship after spending six years in the Premier League, with Sean Dyche leaving at the back end of the 2021-22 campaign after ten years with the club.

Interim manager Michael Jackson managed to produce an initial bounce, but it was not enough to keep Burnley up as the Clarets suffered relegation on the final day of the season following a home defeat to Newcastle United.

As such, Burnley are expected to cash in on their high-profile players in the transfer window. Goalkeeper Nick Pope has already left to join Newcastle, while Maxwel Cornet – the club's top scorer in the 2021-22 season – has also been linked with a move away. 

James Tarkowski's contract is expiring and the defender is set to join Everton, while his fellow centre-back Ben Mee is also leaving the club. Dwight McNeil, too, is rumoured to be attracting Premier League interest.

"You always have to expect that some of the more valuable players will move on [after relegation]," Kompany told reporters on Friday.

"We wish them well and are looking forward to bringing in some exciting players.

"It goes with the drop in revenue when you drop out of the Premier League and you have to expect that.

"It is a few players who have perhaps earned the right to move on."

The Clarets are reportedly nearing the signings of Arsenal defender Daniel Ballard, as well as Milton Keynes Dons midfielder Scott Twine.

"We are close to signing a few players," Kompany added. "There is nobody we are bringing in today, I don't think, but we have set up a few medicals."

While his squad seems set to undergo plenty of change, Kompany is excited to get started.

"I have been well received and I have been blending in quite quickly," Kompany added. "I was not in a need to come to Burnley, I had other options.

"We started talking about the problems in the short term and the opportunities long term. I liked how open the ownership were."

Kompany's first competitive match in charge of Burnley comes on July 29 at Huddersfield Town.

Vincent Kompany's reign as Burnley manager will start with a difficult test on the road against Huddersfield Town.

The Championship fixtures for the 2022-23 season were released on Thursday and Kompany's first game with the Clarets, who were relegated from the Premier League last season, comes against defeated play-off finalists Huddersfield.

Burnley's relegation from the top-flight was confirmed on the final day of the season after defeat at home to Newcastle United to bring an end to a six-year spell in the Premier League, with Leeds United surviving following victory at Brentford.

Huddersfield, meanwhile, saw off Luton Town in the Championship play-off semi-finals but lost to Nottingham Forest at Wembley, denying them a return to the Premier League for the first time since the 2018-19 season.

Elsewhere, Watford's first game back in the Championship following relegation comes at home to Sheffield United, while Norwich City are on the road against Cardiff City.

Sunderland, after a four-year stint in League One, mark their return to the second tier against Coventry City, while League One champions Wigan Athletic face Preston North End.

The new season begins on July 29 with Huddersfield's hosting of Burnley and marks the start of a challenging campaign for the 24 teams in the division, who face disruption due to the World Cup in Qatar midway through the season.

 

Former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has been confirmed as the new manager of Burnley following his departure from Anderlecht.

The 36-year-old spent three years in charge of Anderlecht, the first of those as player-manager, prior to stepping aside by mutual consent last month.

He takes over at Turf Moor ahead of Burnley's first season in the Championship since 2015-16 following their relegation from the Premier League.

Sean Dyche was sacked by the Clarets in April after a decade in charge, with interim boss Mike Jackson unable to keep the club in the top flight.

Burnley confirmed the appointment on their official website on Tuesday, though they did not announce the length of the contract signed by the Belgian.

Kompany said: "Burnley Football Club is a truly historic English side and it is an honour to be appointed first-team manager. I'm excited by the challenge ahead.

"I'm looking forward to getting to work with the players and creating a positive, winning team for our fans when we return to Turf Moor.

"I've been impressed by the board's vision for the club which aligns with my own and I look forward to playing my part as we enter an important season."

Kompany finished third in the Belgian First Division last term to guide Anderlecht back into Europe, while also reaching the domestic cup final, where his side lost on penalties to Gent.

Prior to moving into coaching, Kompany enjoyed a 17-year playing career with Anderlecht, Hamburg and City, winning 10 major trophies across 11 seasons with the latter.

"We are absolutely delighted to welcome Vincent to Burnley Football Club," chairman Alan Pace said.

"Vincent is a proven leader and I've been very impressed with his ideas for Burnley Football Club, his appetite to succeed and his focus on leading the club back to the Premier League.

"Vincent has shown impressive credentials in leading one of Belgium's biggest teams back to European football and a cup final last season and we've been excited by his philosophy, approach and ambition for the club."

Gareth Bale has suggested the standard of football he competes at in the build-up to the World Cup does not make "too much of a difference", amid continued speculation over a move to Cardiff City.

The Wales international will end a nine-year spell with Real Madrid and become a free agent at the end of June when his contract expires.

Bale, who helped Wales to their first World Cup qualification since 1958, has been linked with a host of clubs across Europe and the United States.

Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman is said to have flown to the United Kingdom to start discussions with the 32-year-old, attempting to bring the forward back to his hometown club.

Wales coach Rob Page declared a deal with Cardiff would "tick all the right boxes", while the veteran attacker's agent Jonathan Barnett revealed his next move will not be driven by money.

Bale, speaking on Monday before a Nations League clash with the Netherlands, refused to rule out a move to the Championship side as he outlined his plans to discuss his next career move with Page.

"It's something I guess I need to sit down and go through," Bale told reporters at a pre-match news conference.

"Not just with my family, but with the manager here [Page], with the physios here that we use, to see what would give me the best chance of being fit come November and December.

"I don't really know if the standard makes too much of a difference. A football game is a football game.

"I feel like I'll never really lose my quality on the ball. I guess it's a conversation to be had.

"I need time to think what's the best move for me, my family, my kids, and hopefully we'll sort that over the summer. I have options."

 

Bale won 16 trophies during his time with Madrid but rarely featured in the 2021-22 campaign, in which Los Blancos lifted the La Liga title and the Champions League.

He played in seven of Madrid's 56 matches in all competitions – 13 per cent – with just four of those being starts.

But Bale was still on hand to help Wales to the World Cup in Qatar, their 64-year wait the longest gap between qualification for world football's showpiece tournament.

While Bale's deflected free-kick off the head of Andriy Yarmolenko was enough to secure play-off success over Ukraine, he knows he still has to build his fitness.

"Ideally I would have had more games coming in [to camp] so I would have been even fitter and not had to recover as much as I am at the moment," he added.

"I've been available for quite a lot of the games in Spain. Sometimes you just don't get picked so people assume that you're injured.

"[he next step] is going to be massively important. I need to make sure I'm playing games and I'm as fit as possible.

"Sometimes I'm able to get away with it, but ideally I want to go into a World Cup playing games and being as fit for as long as I can on the pitch."

Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper recognised that Sunday's Championship play-off final win over Huddersfield Town is life changing.

Forest beat the Terriers 1-0 at Wembley to secure their long-awaited return to the Premier League.

They have not played a top-flight match since the 1998-99 season, with their 23-year gap between Premier League seasons being the longest for any club.

Their success on Sunday highlighted the astonishing turnaround inspired by Cooper, who took over the club in September when they were second from bottom in the Championship – only Derby County, who had been deducted 12 points early in the season, were below the two-time European champions.

But since then, Cooper has won 60 per cent of his 45 games in charge, the best win ratio of any Forest manager (minimum 15 matches) since the club joined the Football League in the 1982-93 season.

In that time, Forest's 27 victories across all competitions is more than any other Championship club, and Cooper – who lost to Brentford with Swansea City in last season's play-offs – was fully aware of the gravity of securing promotion.

"It's relief and pride – this isn't about me, but it's changed my life, potentially anyway," Cooper told Sky Sports.

"My family are here, the players' families are here – this football club is about belonging to a city. It comes together on matchday. We've taken over Wembley today and are in the Premier League.

"This football club is built on positive eras from the past and we want to build on that. We are proud of that but at the same time we need to think, 'what if?'

"Can we get the Premier League? Can we play attractive football? What if we can develop young players? And that's what we've done showing an attitude and a commitment to not get beaten. We deserve this."

While Cooper will attract many of the plaudits for the undeniably brilliant job he has performed since September, he was quick to pay tribute to his players and the atmosphere they have helped to cultivate in the club.

"It's a glamorous world being a footballer and a manager but it's also a harsh and spiteful one," he continued.

"I just wanted the players to know I will be their biggest supporter and give them everything through thick and thin.

"It doesn't mean I'm soft with them or don't demand of them but everybody loves to be loved. That's what we've tried to do with the players."

Levi Colwill's own goal was the difference as Nottingham Forest secured promotion to the Premier League with a 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town in the Championship play-off final.

Steve Cooper's side were in the ascendancy in the first half and their reward at Wembley Stadium arrived when Colwill turned into his own net after 43 minutes.

Huddersfield were left aggrieved in the second half after referee Jonathan Moss did not award Harry Toffolo a penalty for a challenge by Jack Colback, and Lewis O'Brien had a strong case for a spot-kick too.

But Forest held firm to secure their return to the Premier League for the first time since the 1998-99 season.

Forest made a promising start as Ryan Yates flicked a header narrowly wide from a James Garner free-kick.

Yates skewed another presentable chance over but the pressure from Cooper's side seemed to have subsided until just before the interval, when Colwill inadvertently diverted into his own goal following Garner's teasing cross.

Yates tamely fired into the hands of Huddersfield's Lee Nicholls after the break, while an unmarked Jonathan Hogg wastefully headed over from Sorba Thomas' corner at the other end.

Huddersfield grew into the game past the hour mark and Toffolo thought he had won a penalty but was instead booked for diving after going down under the challenge of Colback.

O'Brien had what looked to be a similarly strong appeal turned down following clumsy play from Max Lowe, leaving Huddersfield furious in defeat as Forest – who had to take off goalkeeper Brice Samba due to injury – gained promotion.

What does it mean? Cooper ends play-off hoodoo

Forest, playing in their first English Football League play-off final, were the dominant force for large parts against Carlos Corberan's side and earned a deserved victory.

Twice European Cup winners in the days of Brian Clough, Forest will feel they have rightfully returned to the English top flight, while Cooper has finally won promotion through the Championship play-offs at the third time of asking.

Cooper's incredible turnaround

Cooper inherited a Forest side that were languishing in the relegation zone in the early stages of the season after Chris Hughton's dismissal in mid-September.

He has transformed Forest's fortunes, triumphing in 27 of his 45 games in charge at a win percentage of 60 – the highest of any Forest manager to take charge of at least 15 games since the club joined the Football League in 1892-93.

Colwill struggles

Chelsea loanee Colwill was unfortunate as he poked past his own goalkeeper Lee Nicholls in the first half.

That made Colwill the first player to score an own goal in a Championship play-off final since Joe Allen in 2011, and Huddersfield could not recover from then on.

What's next?

Forest can prepare for life in the big time, with the Premier League fixtures confirmed next month and the new season starting in early August. Huddersfield will go again in the Championship next term.

Manchester City great Vincent Kompany has left his post as Anderlecht head coach amid reports linking him with the vacant manager's position at Burnley.

Kompany returned to Anderlecht – whose academy he was a graduate of – in 2019 in a player-manager capacity as the club looked to rebuild, though he soon switched focus to playing duties.

A year later, in August 2020, he was appointed as the club's head coach after bringing his playing days to a close.

Anderlecht could only finish as high as fourth in the 2020-21 Belgian Pro League season, before ending the 2021-22 campaign third.

Although Kompany signed a four-year deal in 2020, he leaves the club having failed to win Anderlecht a first league title since 2016-17, with Club Brugge winning four out of a possible five.

Anderlecht insisted Kompany's departure was a "mutual" decision.

A statement read: "The club and the coach have analysed the past season and discussed the plans for the future. The two parties have decided to part ways in mutual consent. This decision was taken with a lot of mutual respect and gratitude for everything that has been achieved together.

"The club wishes Vincent Kompany all the best in his further career as a coach. He was, is and will remain an icon of the club and will always find a home at Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht."

Kompany added: "Today only one feeling prevails: I am proud that I was able to start this new chapter at the club of my heart.

"I have now been a player and a coach of RSC Anderlecht, but above all I remain a loyal fan."

Widespread reports earlier on Wednesday suggested Kompany has already secured his next job, with a move back to English football seemingly on the cards.

Burnley brought Sean Dyche's 10-year tenure to an end in April as they looked to stave off relegation from the Premier League.

Caretaker manager Mike Jackson initially inspired an improvement, but it was not enough as they ultimately dropped back to the second tier for the first time since 2015-16.

Liverpool have announced the signing of teenage forward Fabio Carvalho from Fulham.

The 19-year-old was close to joining the Reds on deadline day in January after agreeing personal terms and completing a medical, only for a move to fall through.

However, the Reds confirmed on Monday that an agreement is now in place to sign Carvalho on July 1.

Liverpool are reported to have paid an initial £5million for Carvalho and handed the Portugal Under-21 international, who previously represented England at youth level, a five-year deal.

He scored 10 goals and provided eight assists in 36 games as Fulham won the Championship title en route to Premier League promotion in the 2021-22 campaign.

Lisbon-born Carvalho came through the youth ranks at Fulham and made 44 appearances for the club in total, including four top-flight outings two seasons ago.

In a message to Fulham supporters posted on the club's official website, Carvalho said: "I just want to say thank you for everything they’ve done for me, on and off the pitch. 

"On the pitch, they've been singing my name and cheering me on, and off the pitch they're always greeting me. 

"Even my family have fans going up to them, saying hello, which makes me happy. 

"There's obviously been ups and downs this season, but I’ve had some great messages from great fans. 

"I just want to say a big thank you to all the Fulham fans, as without them I wouldn’t be in the position I am today, so thank you so much."

Liverpool rounded off their Premier League season with a 3-1 win over Wolves on Sunday, though that was not enough to pip Manchester City to the title on a dramatic final day.

Jurgen Klopp's side face Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Paris next Saturday, with the aim of adding to the EFL Cup and FA Cup trophies already won this season.

The Football Association (FA) has condemned pitch-invading fans after a number of high-profile incidents of violence near the end of the English league season.

Earlier on Friday, Merseyside Police announced they had launched an investigation into an altercation between Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira and a fan, after Everton supporters flooded onto the Goodison Park pitch to celebrate the Toffees securing Premier League safety with a 3-2 comeback victory.

Widely circulated footage appeared to show Vieira kicking out at the fan after being goaded, while this week also saw a Nottingham Forest supporter jailed and given a stadium ban after attacking Sheffield United player Billy Sharp following a Championship play-off semi-final at the City Ground.

Elsewhere, Swindon Town players were allegedly physically and verbally abused during a pitch invasion at Port Vale, while a Northampton Town fan appeared to shove a Mansfield Town player during League Two's other play-off semi-final tie.

English football's governing body has now moved to condemn the scenes and confirmed it is investigating each of the pitch invasions to have taken place over recent days.

"We are very concerned about the rise in anti-social behaviour from fans as we reach the end of the season," a statement from the FA began.

"Football stadiums should always be a safe and enjoyable space for everyone, and these incidents are completely unacceptable and have no place in our game.

"It is illegal to enter the pitch area in any stadium and these actions are putting players, fans and people who run the game at great risk. This simply cannot continue, and we can confirm that we are investigating all of the incidences. 

"Clubs play a vital role in addressing this issue and they need to prevent pitch invasions from occurring, as well as taking their own action against those that break the rules and the law.

"The FA will be seeking to do all that it can to work with clubs as well as addressing the issues from a disciplinary perspective. We are also reviewing our regulations to help stamp this behaviour out and to ensure the safety of everyone inside a stadium."

A Nottingham Forest fan who assaulted Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp after the Championship play-off semi-fjnal has been jailed.

Forest season ticket holder, Robert Biggs, 30, was seen on television cameras headbutting Sharp on Tuesday after Forest defeated United on penalties to reach the play-off final.

Sharp, a former Forest loanee, was standing on the touchline amid a pitch invasion from the home fans inside the City Ground before he was knocked to the ground.

Biggs pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm on Thursday at Nottingham Magistrates' Court and was jailed for 24 weeks, while he was given a 10-year football banning order.

Biggs was also ordered pay £500 compensation to Sharp along with £85 in costs and a £128 victim surcharge.

A separate charge of illegally entering the playing surface against Biggs was dropped.

Nottingham Forest's Championship play-off semi-final win over Sheffield United on Tuesday was marred by an attack on Billy Sharp following the final whistle.

Forest, who held a 2-1 lead from the first leg away from home, were beaten by the same scoreline back at The City Ground but advanced to a Wembley showpiece on penalties.

The two-time European champions are bidding to return to the Premier League for the first time in 23 years and will face Huddersfield Town in the May 29 final.

However, the pitch invasion that followed Forest's dramatic victory saw Sharp – a former Forest loanee and the Sheffield United captain – shockingly assaulted.

Video footage appears to show Sharp stood at the side of the pitch when a supporter ran directly towards him, flattening the 36-year-old striker with a headbutt.

Nottinghamshire Police confirmed a 31-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of assault. He remains in custody ahead of questioning while enquiries continue.

"We have spoken to the player concerned, and we are working with both clubs who are supporting us with our investigation," chief inspector Paul Hennessy added.

A Forest statement late on Tuesday read: "Nottingham Forest Football Club are appalled to learn that our former player, Billy Sharp, was assaulted leaving the pitch after tonight's match at The City Ground.

"The club will work with the authorities to locate the individual in order they are held to account for their actions, which will include a life ban from Nottingham Forest.

"The club would also like to apologise to Billy personally and to Sheffield United Football Club."

A furious Paul Heckingbottom, the Sheffield United manager, said: "We watch every TV game and there are always things thrown on the pitch, fan invasions, and the commentators, especially the ex-players, are always talking about the safety of the players, but nothing's ever been done.

"Bill was minding his own business off the pitch, trying to get our players away. He was blindsided, it was cowardly. He was knocked to the ground [and needed] stitches, he was shook up.

"How can our safety be put at risk like that in our place of work?"

Jake Daniels is determined to "drive change" after the teenage Blackpool forward came out as gay.

The 17-year-old posted a message via the Tangerines' website on Monday, stating that he has been inspired by the "courage" of fellow footballers Josh Cavallo and Matt Morton, as well as Olympic gold-medal winning diver Tom Daley.

Daniels has been in prolific form for Blackpool's under-19 team, scoring 30 goals this season, and he recently made his first team debut as a substitute in a Championship game against Peterborough United.

The youngster is the first current male professional footballer in Great Britain to publicly come out as gay and hopes by doing so, he will be a role model.

"Off the pitch I've been hiding the real me and who I really am," Daniels wrote. "I've known my whole life that I'm gay, and I now feel that I'm ready to come out and be myself.

"It's a step into the unknown being one of the first footballers in this country to reveal my sexuality, but I've been inspired by Josh Cavallo, Matt Morton and athletes from other sports, like Tom Daley, to have the courage and determination to drive change.

"In reaching this point, I've had some of the best support and advice from my family, my club, my agent and Stonewall, who have all been incredibly pro-active in putting my interests and welfare first.

"I have also confided in my team-mates in the youth team here at Blackpool, and they too have embraced the news and supported my decision to open up and tell people.

"I've hated lying my whole life and feeling the need to change to fit in. I want to be a role model myself by doing this.

"There are people out there in the same space as me that may not feel comfortable revealing their sexuality. I just want to tell them that you don't have to change who you are, or how you should be, just to fit in.

"You being you, and being happy, is what matters most."

Bournemouth have been promoted back to the Premier League thanks to their 1-0 win over fellow high-flyers Nottingham Forest on Tuesday.

In what was billed as the biggest match of the Championship season so far, Forest could have moved themselves up to second with a victory ahead of the final weekend of the campaign.

But Bournemouth, who went into the game three points clear of third-placed Forest, stole the win late on.

Philip Billing opted for a short pass into the box from his free-kick on the edge of the area in the 83rd minute, with his decision not to shoot seemingly catching Forest off guard.

Kieffer Moore was the recipient of the pass, and his controlled first-time finish found the bottom-right corner as Bournemouth secured their return to the top flight.

The Cherries were relegated from the Premier League at the end of 2019-20 and then fell short of returning at the first time of asking when losing 3-2 on aggregate to Brentford in the play-off semi-finals last season.

But Scott Parker succeeded where Jonathan Woodgate could not, with the former Chelsea midfielder ensuring Bournemouth did not need the back-up provided by the play-offs.

They join Parker's former club Fulham, who have already won the Championship title, in returning to the Premier League.

Forest will go into the play-offs with Huddersfield Town, while two of Sheffield United, Luton Town and Middlesbrough shall join them.

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