Diego Simeone is not surprised by rumoured interest in Jan Oblak but hopes the goalkeeper will remain at Atletico Madrid.

Oblak has been named best keeper in LaLiga for the previous four seasons and has only conceded 26 goals in 36 games in the current campaign, helping Atleti once again clinch a top-four finish.

Chelsea are reported to be interested in the 27-year-old Slovenian, with speculation suggesting they could look to involve Kepa Arrizabalaga in player-plus-cash deal.

Simeone has become accustomed to rumours over the future of key players in his squad, however, as was the case previously in the Antoine Griezmann transfer saga before he eventually joined domestic rivals Barcelona.

"It does not surprise me, every year our most important players are wanted by the best in the world," the Atletico boss told the media ahead of Thursday's game with Getafe.

"It is normal to always look for the best – and we have many. Some have left and others have stayed.

"It is logical and normal that anyone wants Oblak. He is our captain and an important player. I hope we can count on his work, which is enormous for Atleti."

When asked again about Oblak's future at Atletico during the media call, Simeone replied: "I repeat the same thing: it is normal that they want a goalkeeper of his characteristics and value.

"It does not surprise me. He is decisive and important in the dressing room year after year. He has evolved in every way, as a goalkeeper and within the group."

Oblak has been integral in helping Atletico's nine-match unbeaten run since the resumption of the season in Spain.

The impressive streak – which includes a 2-2 draw away to second-place Barcelona – has secured Champions League football again for next season, while they still remain in the running to win this year's competition after knocking out holders Liverpool in the last 16.

For Simeone, qualification is crucial for Atleti's development both on and off the field.

"It's our responsibility to qualify, always looking at the growth that the club has from this possibility that we generate by qualifying year after year," he said.

"That's how the club grows in every aspect, so it is a responsibility, an objective to be met, which is not easy always to do in life.

"We all have objectives, in any type of job. I have the luck, the work ethic and the perseverance to qualify every year and allow the club to grow and improve. When the goals are met it is normal for the club to grow."

Borussia Dortmund have released Andre Schurrle from his contract one year ahead of schedule.

Former Chelsea forward Schurrle arrived at Dortmund from Wolfsburg in July 2016 for a reported fee of €32million, signing a five-year deal.

The World Cup winner made 33 Bundesliga appearances across two seasons for BVB before spending the following campaigns on loan at Fulham and Spartak Moscow respectively.

Schurrle is now a free agent after agreeing to mutually terminate his Dortmund contract.

The 29-year-old said in a statement: "On reflection, it was a period with highs and lows – but also with many valuable experiences both on a sporting and, in particular, on a personal level.

"I would like to thank those responsible at BVB and wish the club and its special fans all the best for the future."

Milan have exercised their option to sign on-loan Sevilla defender Simon Kjaer to a permanent contract.

Denmark international defender Kjaer cost a reported €3.5million and put pen to paper on a two-year deal at San Siro.

The 31-year-old spent the first half of 2019-20 on loan at Atalanta before joining Milan in January, when Mattia Caldara moved in the opposite direction.

Kjaer has made 13 appearances in all competitions for Milan, who sit seventh in Serie A with six games remaining this season.

Milan are reportedly set to receive €24m from Sevilla for Suso after the Andalusian club's place in next season's Champions League was secured this week.

Suso joined Sevilla on an 18-month loan in January with an obligation to buy, which was supposedly triggered by Julen Lopetegui's side finishing in LaLiga's top four.

The Premier League transfer window is set to be open from July 27 until October 5.

The 10-week period was settled upon by Premier League shareholders on Wednesday but is subject to approval from FIFA. 

England's top-flight campaign, which resumed in June after being suspended for three months amid the coronavirus pandemic, is scheduled to be completed on July 26. 

Although international transfers must be completed by October 5, a domestic-only window will run until October 16.

However, Premier League clubs will only be able to conduct deals with English Football League (EFL) teams and not with each other. 

A Premier League statement read: "Premier League shareholders have agreed on the dates for the summer 2020 transfer window. 

"The window will open for 10 weeks at the end of the current Premier League season, starting 27 July and ending October 5.  

"Following consultation with the EFL, a domestic-only window will be added from October 5, closing 5pm on October 16. During this window, Premier League clubs will only be able to trade with EFL clubs (either loans or permanent registrations). No transfers can take place between Premier League clubs in this period.  

"The transfer window is subject to the approval of FIFA."                                                                                                                                        

While Premier League clubs will be able make signings before the Champions League and Europa League reach their respective conclusions next month, UEFA has already confirmed no new recruits will be able to compete. 

A date for the start of the 2020-21 Premier League season is yet to be confirmed, though it has been reported it could commence on the final weekend of August. 

UEFA Nations League matches are scheduled to take place from September 3-8, meaning that if an August start is not possible the campaign may not begin until the weekend of September 12.

Paulo Dybala is set to become Juventus' second highest paid player, while Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly targeting Marcus Rashford.

Dybala was linked with a move away from the Serie A club last year, but ended up staying and is enjoying a fine season in Turin.

Now, the Argentina international is set to be rewarded.

 

TOP STORY – DYBALA TO BECOME JUVE'S SECOND HIGHEST PAID PLAYER

Coming out of contract in 2022, Dybala is close to extending his contract at Juventus until 2025, according to Tuttosport.

The playmaker will become Juve's second highest paid player behind only star forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

Dybala has scored 17 goals and provided eight assists in 41 games in all competitions this season.

ROUND-UP

- Paris Saint-Germain are eyeing a Manchester United forward. The Independent reports PSG have made Rashford their top transfer target.

- Staying in Paris and talk about Neymar's future continues. Mundo Deportivo says Neymar still wants a return to Barcelona, who are reportedly set to raise funds by selling numerous players. Sport says they are prepared to sell Samuel Umtiti amid interest from Lazio, Napoli, Roma and Torino.

- Jan Vertonghen is coming out of contract at Tottenham and appears set to leave the club. The Telegraph reports the defender has emerged as a target for Manchester City.

- Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma's contract expires in 2021. CalcioMercato reports renewing the shot-stopper's deal is becoming a priority for Milan, who are set to extend his contract until 2023.

- Former Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic, 34, is a free agent after leaving Qatari club Al-Duhail. According to CalcioMercato, Inter are yet to make a strong move for the Croatian amid reported interest.

- As they look to raise funds, Manchester United are open to selling six players. The Telegraph reports Alexis Sanchez, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Jesse Lingard and Diogo Dalot are considered dispensable.

Nemanja Matic is optimistic Paul Pogba will remain with Manchester United "for a long time".

The Serbian has formed an impressive midfield trio with Pogba and Bruno Fernandes since the Premier League's resumption, helping United extend their unbeaten run to 18 matches in all competitions.

Pogba's future at United has long been the subject of intense speculation, with comments from his agent Mino Raiola causing controversy earlier in a 2019-20 season where he struggled with injury.

But the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the club's upturn in form since the World Cup winner returned to the pitch to join new signing Fernandes have led to increased hopes he will stay.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has expressed confidence that Pogba – who is contracted until 2021 with the option for a further year – would sign a new deal and Matic thinks his team-mate is enjoying life at the club.

"I think at the moment he is happy," Matic, who himself signed fresh terms with United this month, said to Stats Perform News.

"When you are injured and outside of the pitch people will always talk and rumours will always be around him, but he can do anything. 

"As soon as he came back to training with us and playing I think he has shown that he is happy to play football and he is a great guy. 

"I think for me it is very important that Paul stays because that gives us more quality. Also, with his personality, he brings a lot to the team. 

"Of course, you never know what is going to happen in life but I see him happy at the moment.

"I wish for him to stay, I wish for the team. It is good he is a great guy for the group there is always fun around him. I will be happy to see him for a long time at Manchester United."

Pogba said this week United felt like "a proper team" again and he does not think they can be stopped if they continue on their current path.

He also praised the balance of the starting XI under Solskjaer and Matic feels the arrival of Fernandes is what has helped get the best out of Pogba.

Matic added: "With him and Bruno, I think that Paul can now, in my opinion, do what is his job.

"He is the player and kind of midfielder that can play box to box, he is not only an attacking midfielder like people were thinking. 

"He is a box to box player because he is strong, he can run, he can shoot, he can also defend very well, he can read the headers. 

"So now with Bruno, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, when they play in front of him, then in my opinion he can do the best.

"He is a player for everything, so I don't think he is a typical playmaker to be behind the strikers, but that player like a number eight, box to box.

"For me he is one of the best players in the world. So, I expect him next season to be even better, but what we saw in the few games of him [after the restart] he was absolutely fantastic, a proper player."

For most of the year, Lautaro Martinez has been tipped to leave Inter for Barcelona.

Barca are eyeing a long-term replacement for veteran forward Luis Suarez, though, the coronavirus pandemic appears to have impacted their transfer plans.

However, a blockbuster move could still be on the cards.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA STILL WANT TO SIGN LAUTARO

Barcelona remain keen on signing Inter star Lautaro Martinez at the end of the season, according to the front page of Tuesday's Mundo Deportivo.

Barca's interest in Martinez is well documented but a transfer has been put on hold as the LaLiga giants re-assess their plans after the Argentina forward's €111million release clause expired at the start of the month.

However, Barca head coach Quique Setien is reportedly considering three options in his pursuit to recruit Martinez.

Ousmane Dembele could be sold to raise funds or a swap deal involving Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic and Samuel Umtiti could be proposed to Inter, while a player plus cash offer including Junior Firpo is the third alternative.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Mirror says Chelsea are ready to swap goalkeepers. Unhappy with the world's most expensive keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, Chelsea are ready to use the Spaniard as a makeweight in a deal to sign Atletico Madrid star Jan Oblak.

Paris Saint-Germain are eyeing in-demand Salzburg sensation Dominik Szoboszlai, reports Tuttosport. The Hungary teenager has been heavily linked to Milan and Napoli, as well as Arsenal.

Ajax are hopeful of keeping star goalkeeper Andre Onana for one more season, claims De Telegraaf. Onana has been linked to the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Barca.

- Journalist Nicolo Schira reports Napoli are confident of reaching an agreement with Lille forward Victor Osimhen. The Nigerian has been tipped to join the Serie A side, who have prepared a five-year contract worth €3.5m per season amid talk of an €80m transfer.

- While Osimhen could arrive, Napoli are set to lose Arkadiusz Milik. Calciomercato claims Italian champions Juventus are interested, while the likes of Atletico, Tottenham and Roma are also keen. Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette is an alternative for Juve, as well as Atletico.

- According to Calciomercato, Edinson Cavani has turned down a move to David Beckham's Inter Miami in MLS. A free agent since leaving PSG, Cavani is reportedly wanted by Roma.

Everton and PSG both want to sign Napoli midfielder Allan, says Calciomercato. Napoli are looking to raise funds.

Manchester City will accelerate their rebuilding plans after having their Champions League ban overturned, claims the Telegraph. Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly – also linked to United, Liverpool and Real Madrid previously – is reportedly high on the list of targets, which includes Leicester City full-back Ben Chilwell, Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish and Atletico star Saul Niguez.

Athletic Bilbao great Markel Susaeta will not return for the resumption of the 2019-20 coronavirus-affected A-League season after terminating his Melbourne City contract.

City confirmed on Tuesday that former Athletic captain Susaeta mutually agreed to terminate his contract with immediate effect due to family reasons.

Susaeta, who joined City from Japanese giants Gamba Osaka in January on a six-month deal, has returned to Spain after not joining his team-mates in New South Wales quarantine ahead of the season restart.

The 32-year-old winger scored two goals and set up another for City – part of the City Football Group (CFG) – in 10 appearances before the league was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The club would like to thank Markel for his contribution over the past season and wishes him well for the future," City said in a statement.

City were second in the table after 23 matches prior to the coronavirus crisis, eight points behind leaders and defending champions Sydney FC.

Norwich City sporting director Stuart Webber assumed responsibility for the club's relegation from the Premier League, acknowledging his transfer work was comparable to sending someone to war without a gun.

The Canaries were thrashed 4-0 by West Ham at home on Saturday, condemning them to relegation after looking doomed for months.

Norwich were promoted from the Championship as title winners last season, but of the three teams to come up, they have struggled the most – though Aston Villa could yet join them back in the second tier.

But Webber, who is highly regarded for his work with the previously financially crippled Canaries, absolved Daniel Farke and the players of blame, urging supporters to point the finger at him.

"Frankly, we've not been good enough and people don't like to hear that. People want to look for reasons and delve deeper, in the end it comes down to quality," he told reporters in a wide-ranging news conference on Monday. "I said to someone the other day, it's like we've gone into a war without a gun, and guess what? We've been shot.

"Even when you have money, unless you have real money and you can spend money to get top quality, you can also go and waste a lot of money. That's one thing I'll make no apologies for, that's one thing I was refusing to do.

"I was not going to put this club in the state I found it – frankly, if people don't like that, I'm okay with it. If people above me don't like it, then I'll go, but I'm not going to leave this place in the state I found it in.

"Could we have done better? Of course we could, I'm the first to admit that. I'm sure when we go through this, people will want to look for someone to blame – blame me. Don't blame the players, don't blame Daniel, don't blame the staff or the board, blame me. I can take it because I don't read it. It doesn't affect me."

Relegation will likely increase the chances of some of Norwich's many talented young players attracting interest, with Max Aarons, Todd Cantwell, Ben Godfrey, Emiliano Buendia and Jamal Lewis all considered promising prospects.

But Webber has warned potential suitors they will still have to pay a premium, insisting Norwich will be negotiating from a position of strength.

"We are difficult to negotiate with when we are selling, and we hold all the cards on our young players," he added. "Not one of them has less than three years left on their contracts. They owe us, we owe them.

"They are homegrown, and British players cost more. That is almost a Premier League tax these days. We are fortunate we have a few of them. I am sure there will also be interest in our younger ones, but that will be on our terms.

"If it is top clubs, like when Leicester City came in for James Maddison, you have to respect they can pay him and us a lot of money, and the player has his own personal ambitions, but will we sell someone on the cheap just because they say they want to go? No chance.

"The staff here know I am fair, and it won't be deluded figures we ask for, but we also need good characters to get us back up. We got just over £20million for Maddison, after one season in the Championship, and we needed the money.

"So, what I would be saying to people is, please have a look at that before you pick up the phone to us. That has set the benchmark for our club."

What does the future hold for PSG stars Kylian Mbappe and Neymar?

Real Madrid have made no secret of their admiration for Mbappe, while Barcelona have tried to re-sign Neymar.

As PSG prepare for the 2020-21 campaign, the Ligue 1 holders have made some transfer decisions.

 

TOP STORY – PSG KEEPING MBAPPE, MAKE NEYMAR DECISION

Paris Saint-Germain will not sell Kylian Mbappe ahead of the 2020-21 season but Neymar's future remains uncertain, according to L'Equipe.

Mbappe has been tipped to make the move to Real Madrid in the future, however, Ligue 1 champions PSG have no intention of parting with the France international before next season.

But Neymar – continually linked with a return to Barcelona after leaving in a world-record transfer in 2017 – could leave as PSG look to avoid losing the Brazilian star on a free transfer in 2022.

 

ROUND-UP

Chelsea are preparing their first offer for Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz. Journalist Nicolo Schira reports Chelsea will make a £62million (€70m) bid plus add-ons for Havertz amid interest from Madrid, Manchester United, Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Barca. To fund the transfer, Chelsea will look to sell Inter target Emerson Palmieri, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Jorginho, who would like to reunite with Maurizio Sarri at Juventus.

Luke Shaw could be sacrificed as United look to sign Leicester City's Ben Chilwell, claims the Mirror. United have reportedly leapfrogged Premier League rivals Chelsea and Manchester City in the race for full-back Chilwell.

- Gazzetta dello Sport says Inter are interested in Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante, who has also been linked to Madrid.

Willian has turned down a move to David Beckham's Inter Miami, reports the Telegraph. Willian's Chelsea contract expires at the end of the season and he has been linked to Liverpool, United, Arsenal and Tottenham.

- Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren is wanted by Russian champions Zenit, according to the Evening Standard.

- Calciomercato says Juventus are not the only club eyeing Roma star Nicolo Zaniolo. Jose Mourinho reportedly wants the Italy international at Tottenham, while Madrid and United are also believed to be interested.

- The Express claims Chelsea are stepping up their pursuit of United goalkeeper and Sheffield United loanee Dean Henderson. Chelsea are ready to ask Manchester United for a price as Kepa Arrizabalaga struggles in London.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said the LaLiga giants have held talks with Inter over Lautaro Martinez but a move for the star forward is on hold.

Martinez – who arrived in Milan from Racing Club in 2018 – has been tipped to swap Serie A side Inter for Barca at the end of the 2019-20 coronavirus-hit season.

The Argentina forward had scored 16 goals prior to the campaign being halted in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic but he has only netted once in seven games since the restart amid the speculation.

Bartomeu provided an update on Martinez and Barca's transfer plans, with the club set to be dethroned by bitter rivals Real Madrid in LaLiga.

"The coming market will be very different. The big clubs will be limited by economic problems, but Barca are always a market-mover," Bartomeu told TV3. 

"In Lautaro's case the negotiation is halted right now. We spoke to Inter a few weeks ago. We are in an assessment phase.

"We have spoken with Inter about Lautaro, but not recently. We will wait to finish the season and re-assess everything."

Barca are second in LaLiga through 36 matches, a point behind Madrid – who can restore their four-point advantage with victory over Getafe on Monday.

Quique Setien's Barca are back in action for their penultimate league clash against Osasuna on Thursday.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu insisted superstar Lionel Messi will sign a new contract with the LaLiga giants.

Messi, 33, has been linked with an exit amid reports the Barca captain is ready to quit Camp Nou once his contract expires in 2021.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner has reportedly halted contract negotiations due to his frustrations with Barca – who are on track to be dethroned by bitter rivals Real Madrid in LaLiga this season.

But Bartomeu is confident all-time leading goalscorer Messi will retire at the club after making his debut in 2004.

"We have talked, we are talking and we will talk to Messi," Bartomeu told TV3.

"He wants to finish his career here. We will renew it [contract] for sure, I have no doubt that he will continue here."

Messi set up Arturo Vidal for the match-winning goal in Saturday's 1-0 victory at Real Valladolid.

It was Messi's 20th assist of the LaLiga season as he reached a notable double in the league, becoming the first player since Thierry Henry in 2002-03 to score and create 20-plus goals in a single campaign across Europe's top five leagues.

The victory kept Barca's slim title hopes alive amid doubts over the future of head coach Quique Setien.

Setien replaced Ernesto Valverde in January but the former Real Betis boss has struggled to convince, with Barca one point behind leaders Madrid – who can restore their four-point lead atop the table against Getafe on Monday.

Barca are also preparing for next month's Champions League last-16 second leg against Napoli following the coronavirus-enforced break. The first leg ended 1-1.

Asked about Setien, Bartomeu said: "Quique Setien will be on the team for the Champions League. The will is for him to be the coach next season, our intention is to fulfil the contracts."

Barca great Xavi had been linked to the hot seat prior to Setien's appointment and before signing a new contract with Qatari outfit Al-Sadd.

"Xavi will be a coach for Barca sooner or later but now we are not looking for a coach, we are with Quique," Bartomeu added.

Juventus and Inter are reportedly ready to do battle for Roma star Nicolo Zaniolo.

Zaniolo, 21, made his return from a serious knee injury this month and has repeatedly been linked with a move away from Roma.

A pair of Serie A giants may be ready to fight for the midfielder's services.

 

TOP STORY – INTER, JUVE TO BATTLE FOR ZANIOLO

Inter are ready to challenge Juventus to sign Roma star Zaniolo, according to CalcioMercato.

Zaniolo is considered one of Europe's best young talents, and left Inter for Roma in 2018.

Roma reportedly want at least €50million for the five-time Italy international.

 

ROUND-UP

- Contracted at Manchester City until 2021, Sergio Aguero may yet stay at the Etihad Stadium a little longer. The Mirror reports City have not ruled out giving the star forward, 32, a one-year extension.

- With Neymar repeatedly linked with a return to Barcelona, it seems the LaLiga giants are wanting to distance themselves from the Paris Saint-Germain star. Marca says Barca are keen to see the rumours of a potential return for Neymar stop.

- Staying at Camp Nou and Barcelona apparently have interest in two players from Tottenham. The Daily Star says Barca want Ryan Sessegnon and Tanguy Ndombele. However, it reports Spurs will reject all offers for Sessegnon this close season.

- Philippe Coutinho's future remains unclear. Mundo Deportivo reports the playmaker, who is on loan at Bayern Munich from Barcelona until the end of the season, will not decide his future until after the Champions League next month.

- Plenty of talk continues to surround Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who is coming out of contract at the Premier League club next year. The Daily Star reports the forward will sign a contract extension with Arsenal – if no other club makes an official approach.

- After just two goals in 25 games for Real Madrid, Luka Jovic seems set for an exit. According to Mundo Deportivo, Juventus, Inter, Chelsea, Leicester City, Milan and Napoli are all considering moves for the forward.

Gerson has no interest in leaving Flamengo despite reported interest from Premier League duo Chelsea and Tottenham.

After an unsuccessful stint at Roma, Fluminense youth product Gerson returned to Brazil after an €11.8million deal was agreed with Flamengo in July 2019.

The 23-year-old has since won the Campeonato Brasileiro, Copa Libertadores, Supercopa do Brasil and the Recopa Sudamericana, while the Campeonato Carioca could be secured next week with Jorge Jesus' side taking on Fluminense in a two-legged final.

Gerson's displays have led to links to some of Europe's biggest clubs, but he insists he is happy at Flamengo.

"After a year with Flamengo, I can promise that I never spoke with another club. My focus is totally on Flamengo," he told Globo Esporte.

"I feel at home, I am happy, I am wanted and I am at a club that is on the level of European sides.

"We can't shut doors, football shows this, but today I am very happy and fulfilled to be in the club of my heart.

"I rediscovered myself here and I want to win yet more trophies in this shirt."

Jack Grealish has not seen sufficient ambition from Aston Villa to tempt him to stay with the club, according to former captain Stiliyan Petrov.

Relegation from the Premier League looks a near certainty for Villa now, after Watford and West Ham claimed potentially decisive wins on Saturday to pull clear of the bottom three.

It will mean Villa's return to the top flight has lasted just one campaign, after Grealish spent three seasons in the Championship helping his boyhood club battle their way back to the elite level.

Grealish is widely expected to leave, having been linked with a host of leading clubs including Manchester United, and the 24-year-old may risk his potential going unfulfilled should he drop into the second tier again.

Although Villa were among the big spenders leading into the 2019-20 season, Petrov suggests the 1982 European Cup winners have still not matched Grealish's needs.

And in turn that leads to the inevitable suspicion he will call time on his Villa career.

Speaking to Stats Perform News, Petrov said: "As a Villa fan I'd love him to stay. Jack likes to compete, he wants to do that at the highest level. He loves the club. He showed that in the Championship, he helped us get promotion, he battled hard in the Premier League.

"If that moment comes [when Grealish leaves], it would be sad to see because he is an exceptional person, not just player. But as a club, have we done enough to keep him?

"I don't think so and it's a big problem going forward as a club, because we may get good players through the youth system, but can we do enough to keep them?

"If he goes, I don't think he can be blamed."

Former Bulgaria star Petrov, who made over 200 appearances for Villa from 2006 until 2012, says it would be a natural progression for Grealish to step up to an established Premier League club.

"Jack has a growth mindset," Petrov said. "He likes to improve, he wants to achieve.

"He likes to be in the spotlight, wants to be counted. He wants to compete at the highest level.

"Of course, he will generate interest from the top clubs because he does perform. If you remember, Pep Guardiola said he's one of the best midfielders in the Premier League.

"That compliment comes from one of the best managers in the world. Those managers don't waste their words saying this about someone who doesn't deserve it.

"That's why Pep came out and said he's one of the best and his performances this season have attracted attention. It's completely normal."

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