Liverpool have put forward proposals for the expand the capacity of Anfield to more than 61,000.

The European champions plan to around an extra 7,000 seats to the Anfield Road Stand, the majority of which will be general admission tickets.

The proposal, which comes three years after the completion of the Main Stand redevelopment, is at the draft stage and does not include details such as an opening date.

Liverpool will hold a public consultation before deciding which steps to take next, with a number of drop-in events planned over the coming weeks.

Andy Hughes, Liverpool's chief operating officer, told the club's official website: "For any expansion to the Anfield Road Stand to go ahead we need certainty on three key areas. 

"Firstly, that we are able to reach agreement with local residents, businesses and community groups that they will allow the expansion plan to take place, which will mean closing a short section of Anfield Road between 96 Avenue and Skerries Road.

"Secondly, that we have the right sustainable financial and economic model in place to deliver a long-term sustainable Anfield. And lastly, that we are able to successfully navigate the complex planning landscape. We need to be satisfied on all three points for work to proceed.

"We are working towards creating an expanded Anfield Road Stand which will see around 7,000 additional seats. The majority of these seats will be for general admission use and we expect some seats will be allocated for a sports bar/lounge-type hospitality in order to ensure the economic viability of the expansion. 

"Further profiling is needed and we expect to provide more detail at the second-stage consultation early next year. These first-stage consultation sessions we are holding are crucial as they will be used to inform the design proposals we are developing, which in turn will help us to make a decision on whether to proceed with the expansion as a whole."

Should it go ahead, the redevelopment will cost a reported £60million and would make the famous Kop stand the smallest in the stadium.

Arsenal sack Unai Emery

November 29, 2019

Arsenal have sacked head coach Unai Emery following a seven-match winless streak, the Premier League club confirmed on Friday.

The Gunners lost patience with Emery following Thursday's shock 2-1 Europa League loss at home to Eintracht Frankfurt in front of a sparse crowd.

Emery leaves Arsenal languishing eighth in the Premier League, eight points adrift of the Champions League places.

The Spaniard's coaching team have also departed, with former Gunners midfielder Freddie Ljungberg promoted to take charge of first-team affairs on an interim basis.

Speaking on behalf of the Arsenal board and owners Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, Josh Kroenke said: "Our most sincere thanks go to Unai and his colleagues who were unrelenting in their efforts to get the club back to competing at the level we all expect and demand.

"We wish Unai and his team nothing but future success."

The statement added: "The decision has been taken due to results and performances not being at the level required.

"We have asked Freddie Ljungberg to take responsibility for the first team as interim head coach. We have full confidence in Freddie to take us forward.

"The search for a new head coach is underway and we will make a further announcement when that process is complete."

Emery arrived as Arsene Wenger's replacement ahead of the 2018-19 season, but the former Paris Saint-Germain boss was unable to deliver.

Despite glimpses of improvement, Arsenal failed to qualify for the Champions League last season after finishing fifth.

They subsequently broke their transfer record by paying £72 million to prise Nicolas Pepe from Lille for the 2019-20 campaign, while Kieran Tierney and David Luiz also moved to the Emirates.

However, their arrivals have not resulted in an upturn of fortunes, with Emery's task made even harder by having to strip Granit Xhaka of the club captaincy.

Xhaka was withdrawn to widespread boos during the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on October 27 and reacted by cupping his ear and mouthing obscenities to supporters.

The Switzerland international subsequently lost the armband and did not make a first-team appearance until the Eintracht game.

Mikel Arteta, Massimiliano Allegri, Nuno Espirito Santo, Patrick Vieira and Eddie Howe have all been suggested as potential replacements for Emery, as has former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Willian says he is eager to stay on at Chelsea beyond the end of the campaign but has yet to be offered a new deal by the Premier League side.

The Brazil international is into his seventh season at Stamford Bridge and is due to be out of contract next June.

But Willian, who turns 32 next year, intends to remain a Chelsea player and is waiting for discussions to begin over fresh terms.

"I feel happy here," he told reporters. "I feel happy to play for this club but the situation is not in my hands. It's in their hands. 

"I'm waiting for them. They know what I want, what I want to do, so I wait for them."

Head coach Frank Lampard recently called on Chelsea chiefs to award Willian with an extension and the forward will bide his time.

"I don't want to talk to [other clubs] because I have a contract until the end of the season," he said. "I am a Chelsea player but I just want to say the club know what I want to do."

Willian made his 17th appearance of the season on Wednesday in Chelsea's 2-2 Champions League draw with Valencia, playing 80 minutes before being replaced by Mason Mount.

Daniel Wass scored eight minutes from time for Valencia to leave Lampard's side potentially needing a home victory over Lille next month to advance to the last 16.

"The end of the game was crazy and it's difficult to play at Valencia with the atmosphere," said Willian.

"At least we got a point and now we have a decider at home. I think we got a little bit lucky but it was like this so now we go to the game against Lille."

Jadon Sancho looks set to leave Borussia Dortmund sooner rather than later.

Sancho has established himself as one of the best young players in Europe since leaving Manchester City for Dortmund in 2017.

However, the 19-year-old's stay in Germany appears to be coming to an end.

 

TOP STORY – DORTMUND READY TO PART WITH SANCHO

Dortmund are ready to do business and sell in-demand star Sancho, according to the Independent.

The teenager is wanted by Manchester United, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Barcelona after starring since arriving in the Bundesliga.

But Dortmund are willing to let the England international leave as soon as January due to a breakdown in relationships.

The winger was benched for the midweek Champions League defeat at Barcelona, having felt humiliated by his first-half withdrawal in the Klassiker rout to Bayern Munich.

 

ROUND-UP

- La Nazione says Premier League leaders and Champions League holders Liverpool are interested in Fiorentina star Federico Chiesa. The 22-year-old has sparkled in Florence, leading to links with Serie A champions Juventus and Inter.

- Could Everton be set for a South American triple swoop? According to the Liverpool Echo, the Merseyside club are keen on signing Inter forward Gabriel Barbosa – on loan at Flamengo – and River Plate's Rafael Santos Borre. It comes as the Toffees have reportedly identified Flamengo head coach Jorge Jesus as a possible candidate to succeed Marco Silva following his Copa Libertadores and domestic success.

- Marca claims James Rodriguez has turned down a move to Arsenal. According to reports in England, the Gunners want James in January. However, the Madrid playmaker wants to stay in the Spanish capital.

- High-flying Inter are eager to sign Atalanta full-back Robin Gosens, reports Calciomercato.

Milan are targeting Juventus centre-back Merih Demiral, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. The Turkey international has struggled for game time following his arrival in Turin this season.

- As Flamengo struggle to secure a permanent deal for loan star Barbosa, Goal says the Copa Libertadores champions are in talks to sign Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa.

Manchester City have set their sights on Brescia and Italy sensation Sandro Tonali, says Fichajes. The 19-year-old is attracting interest from all over Europe.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp have been inducted into the League Manager Association's (LMA) Hall of Fame.

The LMA announced the pair's induction on Thursday, in recognition of their historic achievements in football management to date.

Guardiola and Klopp are going head-to-head for Premier League supremacy this season.

City boss Guardiola is seeking a third successive Premier League crown, while Klopp is looking to deliver Liverpool's first league title since 1990.

"It is an incredible honour to be a part of it, for the rest of my life and for generations, to be in this Hall of Fame in English football," said Guardiola, who has won seven trophies since arriving from Bayern Munich in 2016.

"I do not have any words to express my gratitude. To be part of this family."

Appointed in 2015, Klopp has led Liverpool to Champions League and UEFA Super Cup glory following the club's runners-up European finish in 2017-18.

"This is really special, to be a part of this incredible group of managers is big," Klopp added.

"Tonight my family and coaches are here. I wanted them all to be here because it is very important in in our family history."

Liverpool – eight points clear atop the Premier League summit – host Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday, while City travel to Newcastle United.

Mauricio Pochettino thanked Tottenham as the sacked manager ended his silence to say he gave the club "the best of me".

After five and a half years in charge, Pochettino was dismissed by Spurs last week following a miserable run of form that had the club in the bottom half of the Premier League table.

Jose Mourinho was swiftly appointed as head coach in his place and has since guided Tottenham to back-to-back wins against West Ham and Olympiacos.

Pochettino left a message for the squad on a training-ground whiteboard but made his first public pronouncement on his exit on Thursday.

The 47-year-old made Spurs regulars in the Champions League, reaching the 2018-19 final, and described "tough challenges" and "exciting success".

"I would like to thank [owner] Joe Lewis and [chairman] Daniel Levy for giving me the opportunity to be part of Tottenham Hotspur's history," he said, in a statement released by the League Managers Association.

"I would like to thank also everyone I met at Tottenham, all the club staff and the football players during these five and a half years.

"Finally, I would like to give a special mention to the fans who make this club so great with their fantastic support.

"I gave the best of me to accomplish the objectives I was asked for in our first meeting. There were equally tough challenges as exciting success.

"Best wishes for the future, I am sure we will cross paths again."

Even before leaving Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Pochettino was linked to both Manchester United and Real Madrid, along with Bayern Munich following Niko Kovac's sacking.

As pressure builds on Unai Emery at Arsenal, Pochettino is also among the favourites to take over at Tottenham's nearest rivals.

There appears no sign of Southampton's luck changing after winger Sofiane Boufal suffered a bizarre injury in his own home.

The Saints are embroiled in a relegation battle and were humiliatingly thrashed 9-0 by Leicester City last month, a record Premier League home defeat.

Even improved performances in recent weeks have not been rewarded with victories, as Arsenal snatched a scarcely deserved 2-2 draw last weekend.

Nineteenth-placed Southampton now head into a crucial meeting with basement side Watford with Boufal's involvement in doubt, having run into a kitchen table.

"[Boufal] couldn't train for three days now and [his toe] is still a bit swollen," boss Ralph Hasenhuttl told a news conference. "He hit his toe on the table at home.

"He ran into the kitchen and hit it on the table, something like that. It will be difficult for the weekend."

Boufal has appeared in 10 Premier League matches this season, starting four times, but has failed to find the net.

Liverpool teenager Rhian Brewster would not be guaranteed regular Premier League starts if he joined Crystal Palace on loan, says Roy Hodgson.

The 19-year-old is one of England's most highly rated young forwards, having fired the Young Lions to Under-17 World Cup glory in 2017.

But Brewster subsequently suffered serious knee and ankle injuries and only made his Liverpool debut against MK Dons in the EFL Cup in September.

The striker has featured just once at senior level since - in the same competition - and is yet to score for the Reds.

Brewster therefore looks primed for a loan move in January, with Palace and Aston Villa both linked with bids.

But Palace manager Hodgson would be reluctant to offer any assurances over game time for a player yet to appear in the Premier League, suggesting he might prefer to look for opportunities elsewhere.

"[Brewster] is a good player, there's no doubt about that," the former Liverpool boss told a news conference.

"The only thing that would concern me there is that I don't know quite how many guaranteed games [he would get].

"If I was going to speak to Jurgen and he was going to talk to me about, 'I want Rhian Brewster to go out on loan and play some matches,' I'm not 100 per cent certain I could guarantee him that he would be the first name on the team sheet.

"He would be in competition with the three players we already have, who are experienced players and quality players.

"So, I'm not 100 per certain that that will do anything other than be useful for us in terms of having another player who could come in from time to time and certainly help us out.

"But if I was Jurgen Klopp and Rhian Brewster, I think I'd want to be going somewhere where I was the first name on the team sheet and I could guarantee that, between January and May, I'd be playing 20 matches."

Palace have scored just 11 goals in the Premier League this season, with only basement side Watford managing fewer.

Club-record signing Christian Benteke, who arrived from Liverpool in 2016, has just four Premier League goals since the start of the 2017-18 campaign.

Manuel Pellegrini is not overly concerned by "noise" around his West Ham future, preferring to focus on their next Premier League match against Chelsea.

West Ham's encouraging start to the 2019-20 season has long since been forgotten, with Pellegrini's men winless in eight across all competitions, losing their past three league matches and conceding three goals in each.

A miserable run leaves the Hammers one place and three points outside the relegation zone, with pressure quickly building on Pellegrini.

The former Manchester City boss is one of several Premier League managers reportedly on the brink, as David Moyes - also linked with Everton - has been mooted for a potential return to London Stadium.

Addressing the media ahead of a tough trip to Chelsea this weekend, it was put to Pellegrini that the West Ham board could not be happy and "noise" was growing.

The West Ham coach offered a spiky response, telling reporters: "They can't be [happy]? You think that someone can't be happy?

"You are telling me they can't be happy when we aren't winning? You are telling me that? There is always noise around every club that is not winning."

Pellegrini would not be pushed further on his future, adding: "We never talk about the future. We must be very clear with what we do. This is game by game. It's the same answer as when we were winning.

"Football changes every game, so we are working to beat Chelsea and improve. I never think about the future, always about the present."

One key area of concern for West Ham in recent weeks has been the form of goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez, who has been hapless in place of injured star Lukasz Fabianski.

Pellegrini insisted on Thursday that Fabianski would not recover from his hip problem in time to return before Christmas, although he said West Ham "will see" about a change in goal.

David Martin, signed from rivals Millwall in the close-season, would appear the obvious alternative, but Pellegrini still refused to criticise Roberto.

"I am not talking about just the goalkeeper," he said. "Every time you must decide your starting XI, you have the complete week to work with them, with your staff, to talk about different options.

"There's positives and negatives. So, we will do exactly the same as we have done every week."

Newcastle United winger Matt Ritchie is set to be out until January after undergoing a second ankle operation.

Ritchie, 30, was injured after a challenge by Hamza Choudhury during an EFL Cup game against Leicester City in August.

The Scotland international has not featured for the Magpies since and, having initially had surgery in October, required a further procedure.

A club statement read: "The 30-year-old will continue his rehabilitation on Tyneside and is expected to return to action in January 2020."

Steve Bruce had acknowledged after Monday's loss to Aston Villa that Ritchie was "not near fitness at the moment" after suffering a number of setbacks on the recovery trail.

While news of Ritchie's prolonged absence comes as a blow, the Magpies will at least welcome Sean Longstaff back for Saturday's Premier League game against champions Manchester City following a three-match ban.

The owners of Manchester City have become the majority shareholders of Indian Super League side Mumbai City.

The City Football Group has purchased a 65 per cent stake in the club, with the remaining 35 per cent retained by existing shareholders Ranbir Kapoor – a renowned actor and filmmaker – and Bimal Parekh.

Mumbai are the eighth football club to fall under the CFG umbrella, along with Premier League champions Manchester City, New York City in MLS, Australia's Melbourne City, Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan, Club Atletico Torque of Uruguay, Girona in Spain and Sichuan Jiuniu in China.

CFG chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said in a statement: "We believe that this investment will deliver transformative benefits to Mumbai City FC, to City Football Group and to Indian football as a whole.

"City Football Group is committed to the future of football in India and to the potential for Mumbai City FC within that future.

"We are very much looking forward to playing an active role in Mumbai City FC's fan and local communities, and working with our co-owners to further develop the club as quickly as possible."

Mumbai City, who play at the 8,000-seater Mumbai Football Arena, were launched in 2014.

They finished third in the ISL in the 2018-19 regular season before losing to Goa in the post-season play-offs. They have won one of their opening five matches in 2019-20.

CFG, who already had a presence in Mumbai through charitable campaign Cityzens Giving, was bolstered this week by a €500million investment from private equity firm Silver Lake.

The deal saw CFG valued at $4.8billion, a figure large enough that share prices for domestic rivals Manchester United jumped on the New York stock exchange by as much as 14 per cent.

City, bought in 2008 by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, also announced record club revenues this month of £535.2m.

Speaking to Sky Sports this week, Al Mubarak made it clear that expansion in India was a priority for CFG given the established ventures in the United States and China.

"When we look at growth, we look at three major markets – the United States, China and India," he said.

"We've invested in New York and that's our US presence in MLS, we've invested in China and certainly India is the next big market that we'd like to have a position in.

"I hope very soon we'll be able to make our move into that market and continue our growth trajectory in the right markets globally."

Tammy Abraham says he feels "much better" as the Chelsea striker prepares to undergo tests on a hip injury sustained in the Champions League draw with Valencia.

The striker hobbled off the Mestalla pitch in the first half of the 2-2 draw after a collision left him clutching his left side before he was then taken away on a stretcher.

Abraham, who is due to have an X-ray on Thursday, said after the match that he does not think the problem is as serious as first feared.

"It's much better," he told Chelsea TV. "At the time I was fearful of the worst, but I was able to walk, move about, so hopefully it's not too long [out of action].

"I'll have an X-ray and we'll see what the news is. Hopefully it's just a bruising. It was a knee to my hip area. Hopefully it's nothing too serious."

Abraham watched the remainder of the Group H thriller on his mobile phone in the Chelsea dressing room.

The England international admitted it was tough to listen to the reaction of the crowd and not be able to influence proceedings as Valencia fought back to take a point.

"I went in the changing room and I was watching on my phone. My phone is a couple of minutes behind, so I could hear everything from the fans, the reactions and all sorts," he said.

"I was watching it and I was just shaking. I wished I was still out there."

An end-to-end first half finished level when Mateo Kovacic's first Chelsea goal cancelled out an opener from Carlos Soler.

Christian Pulisic put the visitors ahead and Kepa Arrizabalaga saved a Dani Parejo penalty, but the Chelsea keeper was then caught out by a cross from Daniel Wass that went straight in.

The result means Chelsea need to beat to Lille on matchday six to guarantee their place in the next round, with group leaders Ajax, who are two points above the Blues and Valencia, hosting the Spanish side in Amsterdam.

"We knew coming here was never going to be easy and we had to stick together. It's in our hands to go out and win the next game," added Abraham.

"It's a massive one. It's always been a dream to play in the Champions League and I don't want it to end at the group stage."

Sunday's Premier League showdown between Leicester City and Everton pits two ambitious clubs with sharply contrasting recent fortunes against one another.

Leicester are the closest challengers to leaders Liverpool, sitting eight points shy of Jurgen Klopp's men and a point better off than champions Manchester City after 13 matches.

An ambitious managerial appointment in the form of Brendan Rodgers has paid dividends, with evergreen striker Jamie Vardy in sparkling form.

Marco Silva, a much-trumpeted arrival at Goodison Park before the start of last season, has work to do to turn around an increasingly dismal situation on Merseyside.

Last weekend's defeat to Norwich City means Everton have now lost 2-0 to all three of last season's promoted sides and they languish in 16th ahead of a tough run of fixtures.

VARDY PARTY GOES ON AND ON

Much of Leicester's charge to the upper-reaches of the table has been powered by the prolific Vardy.

The ex-England striker is the top scorer in the Premier League with 12 this season. He also has 12 in his past 12 home games and is closing in on a half-century at the King Power Stadium in the top flight (48 in 94 matches).

The alliance between Rodgers and Vardy has proved reinvigorating for the 32-year-old, who averages a goal every 98 minutes under the former Liverpool boss.

If Vardy's threat comes predominantly from open play, Leicester will also be keen to test Everton's set-piece vulnerability.

Despite facing the fifth fewest number of corners (55) and the joint-second fewest number of shots (14) from them, no side has conceded more goals from such set-piece situations this season than Everton's four.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: JAMES MADDISON v GYLFI SIGURDSSON

Maddison and Sigurdsson arrived at Leicester and Everton before the 2018-19 campaign to be the creative fulcrum of their sides.

Maddison has broken into the England set up and his form suggests he could yet be a star of Euro 2020.

In 47 starts out of 48 Premier League appearances for the Foxes, the former Norwich star boasts a goal involvement every 195.1 minutes thanks to 11 goals and nine assists.

He has created a phenomenal 128 chances and an 83.71 per cent completion rate from 1,977 passes is evidence of a man who cherishes possession.

A dribble success rate of 61.2 per cent shows another manner in which Maddison can hurt the opposition, while his 110 fouls won are more than double Sigurdsson's number (47).

The set-piece specialist edges Maddison in goal involvements thanks to 14 goals and 7 assists form 46 starts.

Sigurdsson has also created 100 chances, another impressive return that makes it tempting to wonder what he might achieve if his team-mates and manager can collectively pull themselves together.

FORM GUIDE

Leicester have won five consecutive Premier League matches, racking up an aggregate scoreline of 17-1.

The Foxes are aiming for six consecutive top-flight wins for the first time since 1963. They have only lost once in 12 games at home under Rodgers, winning nine.

October's 2-0 win over fellow strugglers West Ham snapped a run of four straight league losses for Everton.

Silva's side have taken four points from their four subsequent games, winning 2-1 over a Southampton side Leicester dispatched 9-0 last month.

HISTORY SAYS…

Everton have been defensively flimsy at times this season and they will have their work cut out to keep Vardy and co at bay.

The Toffees have only managed one clean sheet in their past 13 Premier League meetings with Leicester (W5 D4 L4), which came in a 2-0 win at the King Power Stadium in December 2016.

The corresponding fixture last season also finished in an Everton victory. Leicester have not lost consecutive home league games to the Merseyside club since December 1997.

None of the previous eight meetings between Leicester and Everton have been drawn, with each team winning four apiece.

Kai Havertz is reportedly wanted by seven of Europe's biggest clubs.

The Germany and Bayer Leverkusen midfielder has impressed in the Bundesliga, sparking interest from numerous clubs.

Havertz, 20, is contracted at Leverkusen until 2022, but that does not seem to be stopping Europe's best and biggest.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA, MADRID AMONG SEVEN CLUBS WHO WANT HAVERTZ

LaLiga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid are two of seven clubs who want Kai Havertz, according to Sport Bild.

Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United are the other clubs interested in Havertz.

Havertz made his senior debut at Leverkusen in 2016 and has already amassed 121 appearances for the club.

ROUND-UP

- Talks between Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Milan are continuing. Sport Mediaset reports the striker wants €3million net until June, while Milan are offering €2m, with Ibrahimovic hoping to arrive at his next club by mid-December.

- Arsenal have started looking at potential replacements for under-fire head coach Unai Emery, according to The Daily Telegraph. Emery is under pressure after a run of six games without a win at Arsenal. Mauricio Pochettino, Massimiliano Allegri and Nuno Espirito Santo are reported candidates.

- Edinson Cavani is out of contract at Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season and the Uruguayan could be set for an MLS move. Cavani's representatives met with LA Galaxy last week regarding a potential switch, according to Le10Sport.

- Arsenal and Lyon are interested in Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti, reports Tuttomercatoweb. The 26-year-old France international has made just three LaLiga appearances this season after dealing with injuries.

- Out of contract at the end of the season, Jan Vertonghen is keen to discuss a new deal with Tottenham, according to Sky Sports News. The centre-back is reportedly a target for Roma and Bayer Leverkusen.

- Inter Miami are still eyeing their first coach ahead of their inaugural MLS season in 2020. The Telegraph reports David Beckham is lining up Nice boss Patrick Vieira.

Frank Lampard is hopeful the hip injury suffered by Tammy Abraham in Chelsea's Champions League draw with Valencia is not as serious as initially feared.

The England international, who has scored 10 goals in 13 Premier League games this season, limped off the field at the end of the first half and appeared in significant discomfort.

He was eventually helped onto a stretcher and missed the remainder of a 2-2 draw that leaves Group H wide open.

It was suggested to Lampard that Abraham had been taken to hospital, but the Chelsea manager refuted that.

"I'm not sure if that's true, but he's in the dressing room now," he said.

"The word at half-time was it looked quite severe, a bang on the hip. Then the word after the game was it might not be as severe as we first thought.

"That's as much details as I have.”

Speaking about the game, which saw the visitors denied by Daniel Wass' late effort after battling back from a goal down, Lampard admitted the open nature of the contest in Spain was not what he had planned for.

"We both had incredible chances, we had one in the first few minutes," said Lampard. 

"We had numerous ones in the first half, so did they. Maybe their chances were more clear-cut than ours. I wouldn't say I feel fortunate.

"Did I love the match? No I didn't love it, because it hasn't been many times this season where I have had to say 'we kind of got away with that'. Today was one of those because they missed big opportunities.

"Perhaps we deserved the slices of luck that we got, but I won't take away from the fact that we have to take some of our opportunities. It could have been 5-5, 6-6 one of those games."

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