Argentina midfielder Giovani Lo Celso has joined Villarreal on loan from Tottenham until the end of the season, with the Yellow Submarine having an option to buy.

The 25-year-old has struggled for game time in the 2021-22 campaign, having only made nine appearances in the Premier League, and only three substitute appearances in the league since the appointment of manager Antonio Conte.

With the deadline-day arrival of Rodrigo Bentancur from Juventus adding even more competition for places, Lo Celso will spend the rest of the season in Spain to try to rediscover the form that saw Spurs spend big money to bring him to the club from Real Betis in 2019.

Lo Celso has scored eight goals in 86 appearances for Spurs and was a part of the Argentina squad that won last year's Copa America.

Villarreal are seventh in LaLiga, and travel to Lo Celso's former club Betis on Sunday.

Sportswear giant Nike are "deeply concerned" by allegations made against Mason Greenwood and have suspended their relationship with the Manchester United forward.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said on Sunday they had arrested a man in his 20s on suspicion of rape and assault after United suspended Greenwood following allegations made on social media.

United had said earlier in the day that 20-year-old England forward Greenwood "will not return to training or play matches until further notice".

Before announcing that decision, the club said they were "aware of images and allegations circulating" in relation to the player, stating they do "not condone violence of any kind".

Greenwood has not made a public response to the allegations.

In a statement on Monday, Nike confirmed they have put their relationship with the player on hold.

"We have suspended our relationship with Mason Greenwood," the statement read.

"We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and will continue to closely monitor the situation."

Greenwood signed a first professional contract with United in October 2018 and agreed a new four-year deal last year, after establishing himself in the Premier League club's first-team squad.

Manchester United outcast Donny van de Beek has completed a loan switch to fellow Premier League side Everton.

Van de Beek has once again struggled for playing time this season, failing to start a single league game, and will now spend the remainder of 2021-22 at Goodison Park, becoming Frank Lampard's first signing.

The deal, which was confirmed by the two clubs on Monday, does not contain an option for Everton to purchase the midfielder at the end of the season.

Crystal Palace were also reportedly interested in signing Van de Beek on loan, while a number of clubs from abroad – namely Valencia – were said to be keen.

Van de Beek will be hoping to kick-start his career during his four months on Merseyside, having been restricted to just 19 starts since joining United from Ajax in September 2020.

To put that into context, 19 others have started more games for United over that period, with Bruno Fernandes leading the way (76).

Indeed, only once has he started back-to-back games for the Red Devils in all competitions – against Istanbul Basaksehir and Southampton in November 2020.

The Netherlands international joins an Everton side sitting 16th in the Premier League, only four points above the relegation zone.

However, Everton have backed Lampard immediately, with the midfield spotted as an area of concern. 

With Van de Beek through the door already, Everton are reportedly close to tying up a deal for Tottenham's Dele Alli.

Spain international Bryan Gil has joined Valencia on loan from Tottenham until the end of the season.

The 20-year-old signed for Spurs in July last year from Sevilla for a reported fee of around £21.6million (€25m), with Erik Lamela going the other way.

Bryan has featured 20 times for Tottenham this season, although all nine of his appearances in the Premier League have come from the substitutes' bench.

He has previously played on loan at Eibar and Leganes, and was a part of the Spain side that won silver at last year's Tokyo Olympics.

Bryan also has four caps for Spain's senior team and joins up with Los Che 10th in LaLiga.

Bayern Munich have handed highly rated midfielder Paul Wanner his first professional contract.

At the age of 16 years and 15 days, Wanner became the youngest player to represent Bayern when coming on as a substitute against Borussia Monchengladbach on January 7.

That also made Wanner the second-youngest player to ever feature in the Bundesliga after Youssoufa Moukoko (16 years, one day) for Borussia Dortmund in November 2020. 

Wanner played in all three of Bayern's league matches in January, but his future in Bavaria was uncertain as he was due to become a free agent at the end of the campaign.

However, Bayern confirmed on their official website on Monday that the Germany Under-17s international has now put pen to paper on a new deal at the Allianz Arena.

"I am incredibly proud and happy to have signed my first contract with Bayern," said Wanner, who has appeared for each of Bayern's youth teams from the Under-14s upwards.

"My childhood dream has come true. I've been playing for FC Bayern since I was 12 and always wanted to become a pro here.

"I would like to thank everyone at the FC Bayern Campus, as well as Hasan Salihamidzic and head coach Julian Nagelsmann for their trust."

Bayer Leverkusen are one of a number of clubs, both in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, that had reportedly been interested in signing Wanner in the next transfer window.

And Bayern sporting director Salihamidzic is glad to have brought an end to the speculation surrounding the youngster's future.

"We are very happy that Paul Wanner is continuing his very good development at FC Bayern," he said. 

"Paul has shown in training with the first team that he has the chance to develop in our team thanks to his talent. 

"The fact that he has already been used in the Bundesliga at the age of 16 confirms not only his ability, but also the excellent work being done at the FC Bayern Campus."

Tottenham have confirmed the signing of Rodrigo Bentancur from Juventus, subject to international clearance and a work permit.

The Uruguay international has signed a contract until 2026 for a fee believed to be in the region of £20million (€23.9m).

Bentancur spent four and a half years in Turin, winning three Serie A titles and two Coppa Italia trophies across 181 appearances in all competitions, while scoring two goals and recording 17 assists.

In the last four seasons in Serie A, no Juventus player has made more tackles (205) or interceptions (147) than Bentancur.

The 24-year-old, who has 46 caps for Uruguay, had also been linked with a move to Aston Villa but has ultimately signed for former Juve boss Antonio Conte and Spurs.

The Serie A giants also confirmed on Monday that winger Dejan Kulusevski has joined Spurs on an initial loan, but they have strengthened elsewhere with the signing of central midfielder Denis Zakaria from Borussia Monchengladbach.

Juventus have completed the signing of midfielder Denis Zakaria from Borussia Monchengladbach.

The fee is in the region of €5million, with a further €3m in add-ons, with the Switzerland international's contract at Borussia Park having been due to expire at the end of the season.

Zakaria, who had also been linked with a move to Manchester United, has signed a deal until 2026 with the Turin club.

The 25-year-old has scored two goals and assisted one in 16 Bundesliga appearances for the Foals this season, and has the third-best pass success percentage of midfielders in the German top flight (90.11), behind only Borussia Dortmund's Axel Witsel (93.17) and RB Leipzig's Kevin Kampl (91.50).

He is also third behind the same two players for pass success percentage in the opposition half (86.36) and sixth in the league for recoveries (134).

In a statement on Gladbach's official website, vice president Rainer Bonhof said: "There has been a lot of work put into this transfer in the last few weeks and Denis has had an important role in pushing the move through.

"He made it clear to us that he wanted to change clubs and also let us know that he wanted to give Borussia a transfer fee for the move. This made sense from our end in terms of the financial implications of the deal, so we agreed to the deal.

"We would like to thank Denis for his honesty and openness, as well as for his performances at Borussia over the last four and a half years. We wish him all the best and good luck for his new journey."

With Zakaria having joined, Juve allowed Rodrigo Bentancur to leave for Tottenham, who have also signed winger Dejan Kulusevski from the Serie A giants.

Juventus have confirmed Dejan Kulusevski has joined Tottenham on an initial 18-month loan deal, which includes an obligation to buy if certain objectives are met.

Spurs will pay Juve €10m for the loan, which will last until June 30, 2023. The fee will be split, with €3m to be paid this season, and €7m to be paid in 2022-23.

The Premier League side must buy the winger permanently for €35m if "certain sporting goals" are achieved.

If these objectives are not met, Spurs still have an option to buy for the same €35m fee, which is payable over five years.

Kulusevski's arrival ends a frustrating wait for Spurs boss Antonio Conte to strengthen his attack, having previously been linked with Luis Diaz, Adama Traore and Dusan Vlahovic.

Vlahovic's big-money arrival at Juve ultimately paved the way for Kulusevski to depart, while he has also been joined in swapping Turin for north London by midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur.

Kulusevski signed for Juve in a €35mi deal in January 2020 and spent the rest of that season – which ended with him crowned Serie's A's Best Young Player – on loan with Parma.

That deal was overseen by Fabio Paratici, who left Juve for Spurs last year to become the English club's managing director of football.

Sweden international Kulusevski made 47 appearances in his only full campaign at the Allianz Stadium, with only Adrien Rabiot featuring as many times for the Serie A giants.

He scored seven goals and assisted six more across all competitions in an encouraging first year in Turin, but he has been directly involved in just five goals in 27 outings this campaign.

Of those 27 games under Massimiliano Allegri – the joint-third most of any Juve player – just seven have been starts, with the versatile attacker dropping down the pecking order.

Monday has proved a busy day for Spurs, who allowed record signing Tanguy Ndombele to return to Lyon on loan, while Dele Alli and Giovani Lo Celso are also in talks to leave.

Tanguy Ndombele has returned to former club Lyon on loan until the end of the season after another frustrating season at Tottenham. 

The midfielder signed for Spurs from Lyon for a reported £63million (€75.8m) in 2019 but has rarely been able to show the quality he produced in France prior to the move.

Ndombele – who was also linked with Paris Saint-Germain – was recently booed off the pitch by his own fans after a disappointing performance against third-tier Morecambe in the FA Cup third round.

The 25-year-old impressed Spurs enough to break their transfer record after a solid 2018-19 season in Ligue 1, when he completed 63 out of his 92 attempted dribbles (68 per cent), more than anyone in Europe's top five leagues who had attempted as many.

Only five midfielders in Ligue 1 made more assists than Ndombele's seven that year, while he also had the 12th best passing accuracy (89.09 per cent) of midfielders who had played more than five games.

However, Ndombele's career at Spurs has never got going, though he did register nine goals and nine assists in his 86 appearances in all competitions for the club.

Lyon have confirmed they will pay a loan fee to Spurs of €1.42m (£1.18m), while there is also an option to buy Ndombele at the end of the loan deal.

The French outfit also announced the signing of attacking midfielder Romain Faivre from Brest earlier on Monday on a four-and-a-half year deal for a fee of around €15m.

Lyon sold midfielder Bruno Guimaraes to Newcastle on Sunday for a fee worth £35m (€42.1m), with bonuses potentially boosting the amount to £41.7m (€50.1m).

The Los Angeles Rams are relishing their opportunity to host the Super Bowl after seeing off the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.

A 20-17 triumph over NFC West rivals the Niners means it is the Rams who will face the Cincinnati Bengals with NFL glory on the line at SoFi Stadium on February 13.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year became the first team to play in a Super Bowl at their home stadium and went one step further by winning the Vince Lombardi Trophy against the Kansas City Chiefs.

And the Rams now have an opportunity emulate the Bucs after reaching their second Super Bowl in the space of four years, with this one on home soil.

"To be able to play at home in this house that Stan Kroenke built, this iconic venue, is really unique," McVay said, per ESPN, after the win over the Niners. 

"A little bit easier travel schedule for us since we travelled all over the country during the course of the year.  Just so happy with this group and proud to be associated with it.

"We always talk about being totally and completely present, having a short memory for good and bad. Being able to hit that reset button. I thought our guys did that in a big way."

Matthew Stafford led a Rams comeback from 17-7 down. He completed 31 of 45 passes for 337 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

Having gone 12 years without a postseason win as a member of the Detroit Lions, the quarterback now has three straight playoff victories and the chance to match the history made by Tom Brady if he wins a fourth.

"It's great that it's here," Stafford said about the home Super Bowl. "If we were playing in it, I didn't give a hell where it was. I'm like, I just want to play in the dang thing. 

"But the fact that it's under this roof, it's going to be awesome. 

"Our fans did an unbelievable job making it a tough environment. And it's nice to send some of those red jerseys home."

Star wide receiver Cooper Kupp caught both Stafford TD passes in a fine display that saw him make 11 catches for 142 yards.

Odell Beckham Jr (nine catches for 113) was another standout performer and like Stafford he will also play in his first Super Bowl.

"Everything about this place is right, and it's done right," Beckham, who joined in a mid-season trade from the Cleveland Browns, said. 

"It's just been an incredible opportunity that I feel like I'm just trying to make the most of. Here we are playing in the Super Bowl, one game away from our dreams. Just keep going."

McVay was effusive in his praise of Stafford after the game and Beckham was similarly complimentary.

"Everything that you could hope and wish for," Beckham said about Stafford.

"He had that look in his eyes the whole game. He motivated us, he pushed us, one play at a time, and he drove us down. 

"He's just been doing that all postseason, all season really, since I've been here, he's just had that look on him. Just happy that we could get him to this point.

"I know it was tough for Detroit for a lot of those years. He is having an amazing opportunity and is just gonna take full advantage of it."

The Rams have one Super Bowl title in franchise history, which came in 1999 when they represented the city of St Louis, and three NFL championships overall.

Cincinnati will be making their third appearance in the big dance and are seeking their first title.

On paper, a contest between the Phoenix Suns and the Brooklyn Nets is a mouthwatering prospect.

However, the Nets are still missing star player Kevin Durant and while their form is on the floor as a result of that and other recent injury issues, the Suns are on fire, pardon the pun, and the assumption heading into Tuesday's clash is that Monty Williams' team should ease to yet another win.

Phoenix beat the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday to record their 10th win in a row. They have only been beaten once in 14 games in 2022, and sit on a record of 40-9 to comfortably lead the Western Conference.

The Nets, meanwhile, are down in sixth place in the Eastern Conference on 29-20 having lost four in a row following their 110-106 defeat to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.

Durant remains out with a knee injury, while James Harden has also missed recent games as a result of a hamstring problem and a hand strain, though he could be back for this encounter.

LaMarcus Aldridge will also be absent after leaving the arena on crutches after Saturday's game with an apparent ankle sprain.

Kyrie Irving will be able to play with the game being on the road, and looks to be rediscovering some form after missing so much basketball in the first few months of the season, hitting 32 points against the Warriors, with seven rebounds and seven assists.

For the Suns, Jae Crowder could be in line for a return after a wrist injury that has kept him out of their last four games, while Deandre Ayton, who has missed seven games, will likely be a late call following an ankle issue.

With stronger form and a deeper roster heading into Tuesday's game, Phoenix will certainly be the favourites at Footprint Center, but the visitors will be determined to arrest their recent slide.

PIVOTAL PERFORMERS

Phoenix Suns - Devin Booker

The Suns main point-getter, Booker is the only man to have broken 1,000 points for Phoenix this season (1,056) at an average of 25.1 points per game, the 13th best record in the league.

Booker enjoyed himself when the Suns beat the Nets in November, hitting 30 points and making four out of six three-point attempts.

Brooklyn Nets - Patty Mills

While a lot of the attention will undoubtedly be on Irving, Mills must continue to step up in the absence of Durant and with Harden struggling to find form and fitness.

Steve Nash's Mr. Consistent has played the most games of anyone for Brooklyn this season (48) and is the only Net to have hit three figures for three-pointers made (158). His 24 points against the Warriors on Saturday was his highest score since he managed 34 on Christmas Day against the Los Angeles Lakers, so it appears he could be returning to form. 

KEY BATTLE - Can Brooklyn keep pace?

This encounter sees two of the top five teams for average points per game go head-to-head, so in theory, it should be an exciting high-scoring affair.

You might assume that the Nets' average of 111.9 points per game - the fifth-best in the league - is heavily influenced by the absent Durant, but they have actually bettered that average in four of the last six games he has missed.

Phoenix will be confident of living up to their third-best average in the league of 112.9 having also been outperforming that average in recent games, having scored 113 or more in six of their last eight outings.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Overall, the record between the Suns and the Nets could barely be closer, with the Suns edging their 93 regular-season meetings 47-46. However, the Nets have enjoyed more success in recent years, prevailing in 10 of the last 13 meetings, although Phoenix did win 113-107 in Brooklyn earlier this season.

Aaron Donald was hailed by his Los Angeles Rams teammates after they overcame a 10-point deficit to beat the San Francisco 49ers.

The three-time Defensive Player of the Year gave an emotional speech on the sideline as the Rams trailed 17-7 in the NFC Championship Game.

Los Angeles subsequently rallied for a 20-17 victory that sent them to a second Super Bowl in the space of four years.

They lost to the New England Patriots to conclude the 2018 season and generational talent Donald remains without a ring.

Pass-rusher Von Miller, who tasted Super Bowl glory with the Denver Broncos in 2015 and joined the Rams in a mid-season trade, is desperate to get the team's inspirational figure over the hump.

With seven first-team All-Pro selections and eight Pro Bowl appearances to go with his three DPOY crowns, Miller believes defensive lineman Donald is on the brink of making it a complete career.

"It was great," Miller said to ESPN about Donald's message to the defense.

"He's been Aaron Donald - vocally, physically, emotionally. That's what leaders do. He's a great leader. 

"Like I said, a Super Bowl is all he needs. He could walk off into the sunset, and I'm going to do everything in my power to make that happen for him."

Donald pressured Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for the decisive interception to linebacker Travin Howard that ensured the Rams would keep their three-point lead.

Matthew Stafford will be QB for the Rams in the Super Bowl this time around after Jared Goff played under center in that Patriots loss.

Stafford would have preferred to give the defense a seven-point lead to preserve at the end, but still had faith in a dominant unit.

"Wish we'd have put seven up there, it would have felt a whole lot better sitting on the sideline, but I've got so much trust in our defense, so much faith in those guys," he said.

"They went out there and did their thing and got the win.

"I'm so proud of this group. We've had high expectations all year, done nothing but everything in our power to try to meet those. 

"It's a terrific group we have in there. The game wasn't easy. It wasn't perfect in some spots, but we found a way to win and that's what it's all about. We've got some more work left to do."

Safety Eric Weddle had been retired for two years before making a comeback that will end with a fairy-tale Super Bowl appearance against the Cincinnati Bengals. 

"We were down and out," the veteran said. 

"AD rallied us. He asked us to give more. He said to let us be the reason we win this game. We knew what it meant to him."

And defensive coordinator Raheem Morris was also full of praise for Donald.

"That's what Aaron does," said. "He was vocal all week about what this game meant to him. 

"He calmed everybody down on the sideline and said to do right longer. There was no bigger moment [than the play on the interception]."

The Rams had lost their previous six meetings with the Niners but will now host Super Bowl LVI, looking for their first title since 1999, when they played in St. Louis.

Everton's managerial search is over, with Frank Lampard having agreed to take over at Goodison Park.

Lampard's appointment comes just over two weeks after Rafael Benitez, who managed the former England international at Chelsea, was sacked following a 2-1 defeat at Norwich City.

Everton lost to Aston Villa last week under the temporary stewardship of Duncan Ferguson, and sit 16th in the Premier League, just four points above the relegation zone.

There is no doubting Lampard has taken on a big job, unlike anything so far in his fledgling managerial career. 

He took Derby County to a play-off final in his first season in management in 2018-19, only to lose to Aston Villa. Then, Chelsea came calling, with the allure of his former club too strong to turn down.

Lampard's first season, in which he was unable to sign players due to a transfer ban imposed on Chelsea, saw the Blues reach the FA Cup final, where they lost to Arsenal, and qualify for the Champions League.

Big investment followed ahead of the 2020-21 campaign, but Lampard was unable to get the new signings to click and was dismissed in January 2021 with Chelsea ninth in the Premier League, 11 points adrift of the top.

While his replacement Thomas Tuchel went on to win the Champions League, Lampard has been out of management for just over a year. But now he is back, Stats Perform uses Opta data to assess what he might be able to bring to Everton.

OVERALL RECORD 

Lampard's win percentage stands at 48.2 across his two roles so far.

He oversaw 57 matches in all competitions at Derby, winning 24 and suffering 16 defeats for a win percentage of 42.1.

Lampard's Derby scored 90 goals and conceded 70 in return. Meanwhile, he had a 52.4 per cent win ratio while in charge of Chelsea.

Relying on youngsters such as Reece James, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham – as well as being able to call on Chelsea's more-experienced stars – the Blues netted 163 goals across 84 games, at an average of 1.9 per match.

Lampard won 44 matches in charge of the Blues, losing 23, while he had 17 draws (the exact same as at Derby), with his team conceding 106 times.

His Premier League record stands at 28 wins from 57 games, with 11 draws and 18 defeats. Chelsea had a top-flight win percentage of 49.12 and registered 1.67 points per game.

That win percentage would put Lampard well clear of any manager Everton have had in the Premier League era.

Indeed, Carlo Ancelotti – with a win percentage of 43.1 from 58 league matches – is Everton's best manager in that regard, with David Moyes (40.5) and Ronald Koeman (40.4) the only Toffees bosses to have won over 40 per cent of their games in charge in the competition.

In contrast, Benitez's win ratio of 26.3 per cent was better only than Mike Walker's (19.4).

 

HOW HIS TEAMS PLAY

Lampard liked to deploy a 4-3-3 shape in his Chelsea career, and with the deep resources he had at Stamford Bridge it was never a case of square pegs in round holes, as has been the case at times at Everton lately. He was often spoiled for choice and had players, such as Kai Havertz, who were able to be effective anywhere across midfield or the forward line.

Chelsea achieved 421 high turnovers in Lampard's 18-month first spell as a boss in the Premier League, with 61 of those resulting in them having a shot and five delivering a goal. Manchester City, Liverpool and Southampton managed more over the same period, but Chelsea did well in this area. This season, Everton are low achievers when it comes to such turnovers. Only Newcastle United (127) and Watford (128) have had fewer than Everton (132), while Lampard's new side are one of just four not to score from a high turnover in the Premier League this term (together with Aston Villa, Norwich City and Burnley). It is asking a lot to transform a team in mid-season, but Lampard will want extra effort in this area.

Benitez tended to favour a 4-2-3-1 shape at Everton, but Lampard will likely revert to the shape he knows best, with the squad he inherits looking ripe for a shake-up.

 

POSSIBLE SIGNINGS

Time is running out for Lampard to make a major dent in the transfer market, but you can bet that will be a priority for the new boss before the window closes on Monday.

Reports have already indicated midfield will be a priority, with Manchester United bench-warmer Donny van de Beek close to arriving on loan, while Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley have both been linked with their former boss, along with Tottenham's Dele Alli, who seems in need of a fresh start.

Those are four major talents, who since the beginning of last season have started a mere 67 Premier League games between them (Loftus-Cheek, 29 for Chelsea and Fulham; Barkley, 19 for Chelsea and Aston Villa; Alli, 15 for Spurs; Van de Beek 4 for United) and contributed only seven goals and five assists in the competition.

Signing any one of those would be putting a lot of trust in past glories, which many would suggest is exactly the same punt Everton are taking with Lampard himself.

Frank Lampard has been appointed the new manager of Everton.

The former Chelsea star and head coach has agreed a two-and-a-half-year deal to succeed Rafael Benitez, who was sacked this month following the 2-1 defeat to Norwich City, which capped a run of one win in 13 Premier League games.

Lampard was said to be one of three final candidates for the role, along with Vitor Pereira and caretaker boss Duncan Ferguson, with the last round of interviews having taken place on Friday.

"It is a huge honour for me to represent and manage a club the size and tradition of Everton Football Club. I'm very hungry to get started. After speaking to the owner, Chairman and the Board, I very much felt their passion and ambition. I hope they felt my ambition and how hard I want to work to bring it together.

"You can feel the passion Everton fans have for their club. That will be hugely important. As a team – the competitive level that the Premier League brings and the position we are in the table – we certainly need that. It's a two-way thing. I think Everton is a unique club in that you can really understand what the fans want to see. The first thing they want is fight and desire and that must always be our baseline.

"My first message to the players will be that we have to do this together. We'll try to do our job and I know the fans will be there backing us."

Lampard was sacked by Chelsea in January last year after failing to mount a realistic title challenge despite a pre-season investment of close to £250million in the playing squad.

The former England midfielder won 28 of his 57 league games in charge at Stamford Bridge. Among Chelsea bosses during the ownership of Roman Abramovich, only Andre Villas-Boas in 2011-12 (48.1 per cent) and Guus Hiddink, in his second spell, in 2015-16 (33.3 per cent) had lower win percentages than Lampard (49.1 per cent).

Thomas Tuchel took over at Chelsea and went on to secure a top-four finish, reach the FA Cup final and win the Champions League.

Lampard's old England team-mate Wayne Rooney was also linked with the role, though the ex-Everton player said on Friday he had declined the opportunity to interview for the job.

Everton are 16th in the table after 20 matches in 2021-22, just four points above the relegation zone.

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