Manuel Neuer may end up leaving Bayern Munich at the end of the season after his scathing criticism of the move to dismiss the club's goalkeeping coach, claims Stefan Effenberg.

Bayern captain Neuer said the sacking of Toni Tapalovic was "the most brutal thing I've experienced in my career", and those comments drew a sharp rebuke from club CEO Oliver Kahn.

Kahn, himself a former Bayern goalkeeper, said Neuer's remarks were not befitting of his role as captain and promised the club would directly confront the 36-year-old about the comments.

Tapalovic made his Bayern exit soon after Neuer suffered a broken leg while on a skiing trip in December, after the World Cup.

In an interview with The Athletic, published this week, Neuer said news of his mentor's departure was "a blow – when I was already down on the ground".

Reports claimed Tapalovic and head coach Julian Nagelsmann had become incompatible, with sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic saying in a January 23 announcement: "Differences, particularly over the way we worked together, have now led to us going our separate ways."

Former Germany midfielder Effenberg, who was a key figure at Bayern in two separate playing spells, believes Neuer may have written himself out of Bayern's future with the tone of his remarks.

Effenberg described it as "an interview that will probably go down in football history", saying Neuer should appreciate coaching changes only ever happen for a reason.

"This is the way it is in life and in football," Effenberg wrote in his t-online column. "Sometimes paths separate when certain things have happened.

"Those responsible certainly had their reasons for making a change – and they did. With this, FC Bayern makes decisions for the future of the club.

"A player simply has to accept that, even if he's the captain. Because nothing and nobody is above the club. No player, no coach is bigger than Bayern Munich."

Neuer has 18 months left on his Bayern deal, and he may struggle to displace Yann Sommer, who has been brought in from Borussia Monchengladbach to cover for his absence.

For many years, Neuer was widely regarded as the world's best goalkeeper, but he is in the autumn of his career now.

Effenberg wrote: "He should think about whether it makes any sense for him to still fulfil his contract with FC Bayern, which is valid until 2024, after these allegations, or whether it might be better to leave the club. From the feeling it could well be that it will even come down to that. I wouldn't be surprised if they split up this summer."

A Champions League winner in 2001 with Bayern, Effenberg said the emotional nature of Neuer's comments "are no longer good prerequisites for further good and harmonious cooperation".

"Both sides now have a few months to think about how things should continue beyond the summer – or not," Effenberg added. "With this interview, Neuer certainly made life very difficult, if not impossible, for Bayern for the future."

Bayern Munich chief executive Oliver Kahn has warned Manuel Neuer his comments on the sacking of the Bundesliga champions' goalkeeping coach do not align with the club's values.

Germany veteran Neuer, speaking in an interview with The Athletic, questioned the dismissal of long-time mentor Toni Tapalovic as he acknowledged the "blow" of the goalkeeping coach's sacking.

The 36-year-old, who is out of action for the season after suffering a season-ending skiing injury, said the decision "came out of nowhere" and "really knocked me down".

Kahn was not impressed with Neuer's public comments, firing back at the Bayern star ahead of a crucial run-in for Julian Nagelsmann's side in February.

"What Manuel said in parts of these two interviews in connection with the release of Toni Tapalovic does not do justice to him as captain or to the values of FC Bayern," he told Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

"Moreover, his statements come at an inopportune time because we are facing very important games."

Kahn sympathised with Neuer's situation, having seen his own goalkeeping coach Sepp Maier dismissed by Germany in 2004, but said he cannot understand his motivations.

Kahn added: "He is personally affected, you have to understand that to a certain extent. We were also aware of that when we explained to him that the decision on the question of the goalkeeper coach, which was not taken lightly, was the best thing for our team at that moment. I was faced with a similar situation as an international in 2004.

"Our goalkeeper coach Sepp Maier felt badly treated by the DFB and it came to a separation. I had worked with Sepp for years and we had a friendly and trusting relationship.

"I was also disappointed at the time, and I was angry with the DFB. But the common goals were in the foreground for me.

"They were more important to me than my personal feelings. And for that reason, I decided at the time not to speak out publicly. Manuel has now done the opposite.

"We will talk to him about it very clearly."

Manuel Neuer backed Yann Sommer to succeed at Bayern Munich but questioned the dismissal of their goalkeeping coach after his freak skiing injury.

Germany veteran Neuer suffered a season-ending injury to his lower right leg in a fall in December.

The 36-year-old subsequently underwent surgery, with the setback coming just days after Germany tumbled out of the World Cup in the group stage.

Bayern searched frantically to replace their star goalkeeper in the January transfer window, eventually bringing in Sommer from Borussia Monchengladbach in a deal Neuer has "no problem at all" with.

He told The Athletic: "I put up a picture in our WhatsApp group and apologised. I also called the people in charge, apologised to them and said I'm sorry.

"I'm not a coward who goes into hiding. I explained everything to them, including the background.

"It created a lot of work for the people who run the club and that I might have harmed the team, yes. I didn't want that. I'm the happiest person when Sven Ulreich does well, as he always has done when he stood in for me.

"When Yann was brought in, I told the bosses I had no problem at all with that. I think it's good we have two great goalkeepers. I'm a team player. It's important to me what happens at Bayern.

"I look at the overall picture I don't just think of me and my pain and so on. I have a vocation, I have a job.

"I'm an important part of the team and also an important part of the club and I want the club and the team to be as successful as possible. That's the most important thing to me.

"I've known Yann for a long time and know that he's a good guy – and a good goalkeeper. The club found a great solution. It was important to me that there's someone there and that I don't have to worry."

While Sommer eased Julian Nagelsmann's goalkeeping fears, Bayern dismissed Neuer's long-time coach Toni Tapalovic.

"That blow hit me extremely hard," Neuer added. "Toni was always a team player with us, everyone saw it that way.

"He wasn't working for me for eleven and a half years, but for the entire goalkeeper group, for the coaching staff and for the club.

"We were always able to separate work and private life. I understand that it might sound like I'm not being objective or not believable, but I can really tell the difference.

"For me, that was a blow – when I was already down on the ground. I felt like my heart was being ripped out. It was the most brutal thing I've experienced in my career. And I've experienced a lot."

Bayern sit a point clear of Union Berlin at the Bundesliga summit ahead of Sunday's visit to Wolfsburg.

Julian Nagelsmann is not buying Paris Saint-Germain's claims that Kylian Mbappe will miss the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie against his Bayern Munich team.

Mbappe sustained a hamstring injury in Wednesday's Ligue 1 clash with Montpellier.

PSG subsequently announced the 24-year-old is set to be sidelined for around three weeks.

If that estimated recovery time is accurate, Mbappe would be unavailable for the first leg of PSG's clash with Bundesliga champions Bayern on February 14.

However, Bayern coach Nagelsmann is not fully convinced that will be the case.

"I don't think he will be out, I don't expect anything else. I don't know what [injury] he's got, I assume [he will be] playing," Nagelsmann said at a press conference ahead of Bayern's trip to Wolfsburg on Saturday.

"I don't know what he has. It's relatively vague on the PSG website.  If it's not a structural injury, I can't imagine him missing the game, but I don't know. Of course, they can play poker.

"I am preparing for the game as if he is going to play."

While Nagelsmann does not fully believe PSG's news about Mbappe, he could be seen as playing mind games of his own, as he revealed Sadio Mane will not be fit to feature against the French champions.

Mane missed the World Cup due to an injury sustained while in action for Bayern just ahead of last year's tournament but returned to training last month.

"I am expecting him back in the middle or at the end of February," Nagelsmann said of the former Liverpool attacker.

"Things are looking good and he's pain-free. He will definitely miss the first leg against PSG."

Bayern claimed their first win of 2023 in emphatic fashion last time out, beating Mainz 4-0 in the DFB Pokal.

They have drawn their three Bundesliga matches since the season's resumption, though face a Wolfsburg team that have lost their last two games.

Making his debut following a loan move from Manchester City, Joao Cancelo impressed against Mainz, and Nagelsmann had praise for his latest recruit.

"He's a very likeable player and will help better us," he said.

"He's a fighter who likes to play as much as possible and who wants to impact the game. He adds new options to our team. He was very strong in the first half against Mainz."

Pep Guardiola has no doubt Manchester City can cope with the loss of Joao Cancelo after he left to join Bayern Munich on loan for the rest of the season.

Cancelo was surprisingly allowed to leave the club to move to the Allianz Arena on a temporary basis on the final day of the January transfer window on Tuesday.

Bayern board member Hasan Salihamidzic confirmed the switch may be made permanent after the initial loan spell, with a €70million (£62.7m) purchase option included in the deal.

Previously integral to City with his ability to play both full-back roles and in the midfield, Cancelo started more Premier League games than any other City outfield player (36) last season as they won the title, having more touches (3,908) and attempting more passes than anyone else in the league (2,951).

But he had fallen out of favour since the World Cup, with manager Guardiola preferring the likes of Kyle Walker, Nathan Ake, John Stones and even 18-year-old Rico Lewis for the full-back roles.

Stones, Guardiola confirmed ahead of Sunday's Premier League clash with Tottenham, will be out for around three weeks with a hamstring injury.

But Guardiola is not concerned about a lack of depth at left-back following Cancelo's departure.

"First, I wish him the very best in his four months [at Bayern]. Next season I don't know what happens," said Guardiola. 

"An incredible figure in the last two leagues we won. After the World Cup, we make a pre-season and decided to play, in some patterns different. I like what I watch. I give more time to other players.

"His personality, mine, he loves to play. He trains the best, the situation he doesn't play much. In the last years one of the players with more minutes. He needs to play to be happy, so we decide to let him go to Munich.

"He wants to play every single game and hopefully he can in Munich.

"If Bayern Munich want Joao it's because he's an exceptional player. I won't say a bad word, his work ethic, passion, skills. Everyone knows it. It happens one or two days before the window.

"Always I'm pleased with the squad. Being not sure, it's better to have the money in the bank and don't be criticised to spend more."

Cancelo made his debut for Bayern in a 4-0 win over Mainz in the DFB-Pokal on Wednesday, providing the assist for their 17th-minute opener.

Asked if the club had explored signing a replacement, Guardiola replied: "We talked, but took three minutes. I said do you have something, [director of football] Txiki [Begiristain] said no. I said wait.

"We could go to the market and pay huge amount of money. I prefer a few months until the end of the season. We can do it without. In the summer we see.

"We can handle the situation in all departments. I trust the players.

"If I had the feeling, I'd say to my bosses we should do this. With [Manuel] Akanji, I said we should have another central defender. Nathan was injured, Ruben [Dias] too, John. We had this opportunity. In this case completely different."

Julian Nagelsmann had no doubts Joao Cancelo would settle in on his Bayern Munich debut at Mainz after playing under "one of the best managers in the world" in Pep Guardiola.

Bayern have been held to three consecutive 1-1 draws in the Bundesliga, but they ended their winless run with an emphatic 4-0 crushing of Mainz on Wednesday to reach the DFB-Pokal quarter-final.

Manchester City loanee Cancelo started the game, just a day after joining the German champions, and assisted Eric Choupo-Moting's 17th-minute opener with a pinpoint right-wing cross.

Nagelsmann was unsurprised to see wing-back Cancelo flourish on his first start after working under former Bayern head coach Guardiola.

"Joao played a very good game. He was very creative, played some great passes and crosses and also made very good deep runs," he told reporters.

"He was playing under one of the best managers in the world. I just told him to play his game and not to think too much."

Jamal Musiala and Leroy Sane added first-half goals soon after Choupo-Moting's header, before substitute Alphonso Davies secured victory in the latter stages.

Victory marked a significant improvement to Bayern's post-World Cup form, as Nagelsmann hailed an "important" first win in 2023.

He added: "I'm very satisfied with the result and the way we played. Games against Mainz and Bo Svensson's teams are extremely difficult.

"We were more aggressive with the ball going forward than in recent games. We defended well and kept a clean sheet which was important.

"It was a deserved and important win, not only in this competition but also after we failed to win our games since the start of the year. We want more of the same against Wolfsburg on Sunday."

Manchester United have signed Marcel Sabitzer on loan from Bayern Munich for the remainder of the season.

The 28-year-old Austria international emerged as a deadline day target for Erik ten Hag's side following an injury to Christian Eriksen that will leave the Denmark international out of action until April.

Ten Hag told reporters on Tuesday that United did not require a late addition to fill the void left by Eriksen.

However, the availability of Sabitzer changed that approach and he has now completed a move to Old Trafford, bolstering the squad's midfield options for the remainder of the season as they battle on four fronts.

United confirmed Sabitzer's arrival on their official website a little over an hour after Tuesday's transfer deadline, having submitted the relevant paper work in time.

"Sometimes in life you have to make quick and important decisions," Sabizter said. "From the moment I heard about this opportunity I knew it was right for me. I am a competitive player; I want to win and help the club achieve its aims this season. 

"I feel that I am at my peak as a player, and that I can contribute a lot of experience and energy to the squad. I am excited to start with my new team-mates and manager and to show my qualities to Manchester United fans."

 

United director John Murtough added: "Marcel is a player that we have watched for a long time. The opportunity arose quickly, and we knew that he was someone with the ability and character to make an impact.

"He adds further quality to our squad and experience to the dressing room, and all of us are pleased to be welcoming him to Manchester United."

Sabitzer joined Bayern from Bundesliga rivals RB Leipzig ahead of the 2021-22 season but has found regular opportunities difficult to come by.

While he has made 40 appearances for the Bundesliga champions, just 15 of those have been as a starter.

Sabitzer has not been signed in time for the second leg of United's EFL Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday, but he could make his debut in the Premier League clash against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Manchester United have signed Marcel Sabitzer on loan from Bayern Munich for the remainder of the season.

The 28-year-old Austria international emerged as a deadline day target for Erik ten Hag's side following an injury to Christian Eriksen that will leave the Denmark international out of action until April.

Ten Hag told reporters on Tuesday that United did not require a late addition to fill the void left by Eriksen.

However, the availability of Sabitzer changed that approach and he has now completed a move to Old Trafford, bolstering the squad's midfield options for the remainder of the season.

United confirmed Sabitzer's arrival on their official website a little over an hour after Tuesday's transfer deadline, having submitted the relevant paper work in time.

"Sometimes in life you have to make quick and important decisions," Sabizter said. "From the moment I heard about this opportunity I knew it was right for me. I am a competitive player; I want to win and help the club achieve its aims this season. 

"I feel that I am at my peak as a player, and that I can contribute a lot of experience and energy to the squad. I am excited to start with my new team-mates and manager and to show my qualities to Manchester United fans."

Sabitzer joined Bayern from Bundesliga rivals RB Leipzig ahead of the 2021-22 season but has found regular opportunities difficult to come by.

While he has made 40 appearances for the Bundesliga champions, just 15 of those have been as a starter.

Sabitzer has not been signed in time for the second leg of United's EFL Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday, but he could make his debut in the Premier League clash against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Fashionista Serge Gnabry has been told to smarten up his act by Bayern Munich CEO Oliver Kahn.

After a dressing-down from sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic, the fallout continued on Saturday after Gnabry's trip to Paris Fashion Week on his recent day off.

Salihamidzic branded Serge Gnabry "amateurish" after the Germany forward returned from Paris to put in a disappointing display in the Bundesliga draw against Koln on Tuesday.

Rather than spending his downtime in Paris last Sunday, Salihamidzic felt Gnabry should have been resting between games to ensure he was in his best condition to turn on the style for Bayern.

Gnabry was only a substitute for Saturday's game with Eintracht Frankfurt. It was the third game in succession where Bayern have been held 1-1, seeing their Bundesliga lead whittled down to one point.

Kahn, speaking ahead of the game, said the best way for a player to answer any critics would be to ensure their on-field performance was unimpeachable.

"If I know that it's not the best time, then I have to go on the pitch, score three goals and be the best man. That would be my answer to a topic like that," Kahn told German broadcaster Sky, addressing the Gnabry situation.

Bayern's players had plenty of time off after the World Cup, where Gnabry was a member of the Germany squad that tumbled out at the group stage.

"We now simply expect performance – and we demand it," Kahn said. "We discussed this with Serge. Hasan spoke to him and made it clear. I think he understood."

Julian Nagelsmann urged Bayern Munich to return to form swiftly after a 1-1 draw against Eintracht Frankfurt extended the Bundesliga leaders' "results crisis".

Randal Kolo Muani struck in the second half to cancel out Leroy Sane's opener and extend the defending champions' winless run in the Bundesliga.

Bayern have been held to three consecutive 1-1 draws since the league resumed after the World Cup and winter break, and they sit just one point ahead of Union Berlin at the summit.

With a Champions League showdown against Paris Saint-Germain just over two weeks away, poor form is a cause of concern and Nagelsmann went as far as to dub the situation a "crisis".

"In order to be able to play big games, you have to play the small ones in such a way that you are in a good run from the psychology point of view," he said after the game.

"We don't have too much time before the big games to get into this run. So, we must start at some point - the first step is always the hardest. It's a result crisis.

"The acceleration of the game was not good at all. In all three games, the opponent defended deeply.

"We also had a lot of situations today where we can use the very good players in spaces, but we played it almost exclusively on the wing.

"The opponent can adapt well to this. We should have done a lot more. There are a lot of points we really could have done better."

Thomas Muller, captain for the draw against Frankfurt, assessed the situation similarly and declared the performances are not good enough for a club of Bayern's stature.

"Frankfurt made it difficult for us. But the situation is as it is. We have to do better," Muller told Sky.

"Drawing three times – that's not possible, we're Bayern Munich. It is clear that we are dissatisfied, that we do not win three times in a row. It's brutally annoying."

Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic scathingly branded Serge Gnabry "amateurish" for using a day off to attend Paris Fashion Week before turning in a disappointing performance on Tuesday.

The Bundesliga champions were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Koln, with Joshua Kimmich's 90th-minute screamer salvaging a point.

Gnabry started the match after finding himself in the media spotlight, with Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann saying his players can use their free time as they see fit, even if he hinted a degree of frustration with the winger going to Paris on Sunday.

But the Germany international was withdrawn at half-time following an underwhelming first-half display.

After the game, Salihamidzic was not shy about letting his thoughts on the matter be known.

"It's amateurish," Salihamidzic is quoted as saying by Kicker. "That's exactly what I don't like. It's exactly what Bayern Munich isn't.

"A day off is there to rest so that you can step on the gas again in the next game. We'll talk about that."

Nagelsmann was keen to clarify that Gnabry's extracurricular activities had nothing to do with him being withdrawn, however.

"Now, I'm not one for these tabloid issues. I evaluate what I see on the field, and I evaluate what I have on the bench for outstanding players," he told reporters.

"I had the feeling that we needed a breath of fresh air, also because of the changed basic structure at Koln, because it opened up a little more distance for the wide players.

"That's why we switched. It had nothing to do with everything else. I evaluate what I see and then try to make the right decision."

The result means Bayern's lead at the top of the table is four points – it was six heading into Tuesday, before second-placed RB Leipzig crushed Schalke 6-1.

Bayern resumed their season last week by drawing 1-1 with Leipzig, leaving them on two points from a possible six in 2023.

And captain Kimmich felt it was necessary to question the attitude of his team-mates following this latest setback.

"The second half was a bit better," he told Sat1. "The first half…we certainly have to talk about that in terms of approach, our willingness, our attitude.

"It's relatively easy to change – it's not that it's a matter of tactics or technique or fitness, it's just the willingness. I expect that we can get that changed relatively quickly."

Bayern are next in action on Saturday when they play host to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Joshua Kimmich's stunning 90th-minute equaliser spared Bayern Munich's blushes as the Bundesliga champions rescued a 1-1 draw at home to Koln on Tuesday.

Bayern had been on the verge of their first home league loss since last January before their captain took centre stage, though it was not enough to restore their six-point lead at the summit following RB Leipzig's 6-1 demolition of Schalke.

Ellyes Skhiri, who scored twice in Koln's remarkable 7-1 win over Werder Bremen on Saturday, put the Billy Goats ahead amid a purposeful opening.

Koln were under pressure for long periods thereafter, however, and they could not see the win out as Kimmich struck from distance at the end.

Julian Nagelsmann dismissed any suggestion that Thomas Muller's omission against RB Leipzig hints that the forward's Bayern Munich future is uncertain.

Muller came on in the 83rd minute as Bayern drew 1-1 with Leipzig on Friday.

The 33-year-old has struggled with injuries this season and has played only nine Bundesliga games.

Muller also failed to spark at the World Cup, as Germany crashed out in the group stage.

Nagelsmann, though, says the media has made too much of Muller being a substitute.

"With Thomas, this is a bigger topic in public than it is for us," he told reporters ahead of Tuesday's clash with Koln.

"When you've been injured for so long, you're always challenging [for your place].

"Thomas also wants the competition. He has an outstanding character, but I haven't made up my mind about if he plays."

Muller could not get Bayern over the line against Leipzig, with the champions having struggled to create much in the way of opportunities in the second half at Red Bull Arena.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting put them ahead late in the first half, netting Bayern's 50th Bundesliga goal of the campaign, before Marcel Halstenberg equalised, but Nagelsmann wants more intensity in attack.

He said: "We didn't build up optimally, it was too slow. We sometimes had good actions after winning the ball, but we made wrong decisions.

"I also warned the team beforehand about Leipzig's strength in transition... There were one or two less-than-perfect situations on both sides."

Koln, on the other hand, go into Tuesday's game having thrashed Werder Bremen 7-1.

"I think the seven goals mean something more to Koln than to us," Nagelsmann said. "They do that very well, they're active and good at counter-pressing.

"[Coach] Steffen Baumgart does that very well. They always play with an open mind, very offensive. We have to be aggressive."

Bayern Munich's honorary president Uli Hoeness has urged patience with the club's long-term goalkeeping situation.

Manuel Neuer's leg break forced the Bundesliga leaders to be active in the January market, signing Yann Sommer from Borussia Monchengladbach on a two-and-a-half-year deal for a reported €8million.

While that deal solves the goalkeeping conundrum for the remainder of the campaign, it leaves questions for next season and beyond given the ages of both goalkeepers.

Neuer, 36, and Sommer, 34, are both experienced enough to want regular first-team action and the situation is complicated further by Alexander Nubel, who will return from a loan spell with Monaco, while Sven Ulreich is also on the books.

The quartet will give Julian Nagelsmann a selection headache next term but Hoeness believes it is a problem that can be solved further down the line.

"I think it's strange that the problems of June are discussed in January," he told Sport1.

"It was necessary to find the best solution for the next six months. Yann Sommer is the optimal solution at the moment.

 



#RBLFCB 0-0 (20') pic.twitter.com/10zs9vIjOM

— FC Bayern Munich (@FCBayernEN) January 20, 2023

"Everything else with Nubel and Ulreich will be seen in June when we know more about Manuel's condition.

"Bayern are happy to have a goalkeeper in Yann Sommer who is now solving our problems. I would urge patience."

While there have been questions on whether Neuer could have to pay a penalty due to his injury, which was caused by a skiing accident, Hoeness rebuffed those suggestions with a blunt response.

"Manuel knows he made a mistake. Anything can happen in life. It's an accident. We shouldn't forget what he did for Bayern," he added.

"Bayern's success is also due to the fact that such issues are solved very humanely and socially. A million or two doesn't matter. People come before money."

Koln boss Steffen Baumgart quickly turned his attentions towards containing Bayern Munich after watching his rampant side hit Werder Bremen for seven on their return to Bundesliga action on Saturday.

Baumgart's men, who began the day four points behind their visitors in the table, ended an incredible opening period 5-1 up after Linton Maina, Ellyes Skhiri and Denis Huseinbasic added to Steffen Tigges' double.

Huseinbasic's 36th-minute strike gave Koln the earliest five-goal lead in their Bundesliga history, before Skhiri's second, coupled with a Marco Friedl own goal, rounded off the scoring after the break.

While Baumgart was pleased to see Koln halt a five-game winless run in their first outing since the World Cup, he refused to get carried away ahead of Tuesday's daunting clash with the champions.

"It's a game that you won't always have, of course," he said at his post-match press conference.

"We scored five goals from the first five shots on goal. We are happy about the result. We went forward with a lot of speed and earned the goals.

"On Tuesday, however, we have a team in front of us that shot down other teams with a similar result. We know what to expect."

Saturday's win represents the first time Koln have hit seven goals in a game since a 7-0 thrashing of Eintracht Frankfurt in October 1983.

The visitors, meanwhile, are now winless in their last 11 Bundesliga trips to Koln (D6 L5).

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