Thursday, June 5

Daily WHUFC News - 5th June 2014

AC raring to return
A fit and fresh Andy Carroll cannot wait for West Ham United's 2014/15 campaign to get underway

A fit and fresh Andy Carroll cannot wait for West Ham United's 2014/15 campaign to get underway. The centre forward returned from a troublesome foot injury to feature 16 times for the Hammers at the tail end of last season, scoring twice and assisting five other goals. Having been named as a standby for England's FIFA World Cup finals squad, Carroll will have a football-free June unless one of his national-team colleagues is unfortunately ruled out of Brazil 2014. Pre-season training is set to begin on 3 July and the No9 is counting down the days until he can pull on his boots again. "I can't wait for the new season to start," said the 25-year-old. "I didn't want the last one to end to be honest, I still felt fresh and ready to play more games as I had missed the opening half of the season. "We had a talk after the last match about the positives and the tough times we had when we were sucked into the relegation fight for a bit, but the Gaffer, staff and all the lads had the belief that, once we came through those times and got players back, we could get better and we did. "Now the focus is to push on and look forward to the new season."

Carroll admitted to being frustrated at not being able to assist his team during their time of need before Christmas, when a raft of injuries left manager Sam Allardyce with few options. With that difficult period in mind, the centre forward is determined to repay his team-mates and manager when the 2014/15 Barclays Premier League campaign kicks-off on 16 August. "I know the Gaffer kept faith in me while I was out and I want to repay him, the lads and our fans for the the support I got during that time for that by kicking on from the start and I will be raring to go," Carroll continued. "I know that, with a full pre-season behind me, I can really look to make a mark at the beginning and hopefully get us off to a good start."

Carroll is likely to have plenty of support as he tries to get West Ham up and running in 2014/15, with Argentine Primera Division top scorer Mauro Zarate the first of a number of attackers expected to join the squad this summer. With former England striker Teddy Sheringham also joining the Club as an attacking coach, the prospect of West Ham becoming a more potent offensive force is something that excites the Big Man. "I look forward playing with the new additions we are looking to get into the squad," he enthused. "I know the Gaffer and the Board will be looking to bring in players that will help us push on, including in attack. Personally, I look forward to playing alongside them and I want to be at the forefront of that and scoring the goals that will see us have a successful season."

Jussi signs new deal
West Ham United are pleased to announce that Jussi Jaaskelainen has signed a new one-year contract

West Ham United are pleased to announce that Jussi Jaaskelainen has signed a new one-year contract with the Club. The hugely experienced goalkeeper will spend a third season with the Hammers after putting pen to paper on the deal. Now 39, the Mikkeli-born stopper has played an important role following West Ham's return to the Barclays Premier League in 2012, keeping 19 clean sheets in 59 top-flight appearances over the past two seasons. A former Finland international with 56 caps to his name, Jaaskelainen kept eight clean sheets last season as West Ham registered 14 in total on their way to finishing 13th in the table. Having secured his future at the Club, Jaaskelainen is hoping to add to that tally next term by challenging Spaniard Adrian for the No1 position. "I'm delighted to sign for another season and I'm really looking forward to it," he said. "Hopefully I can put in a proper challenge to get a starting place again. Physically, I feel good now and I felt good last season so I hope I can carry on from there and play football. "You never know what is going to happen next season, but the only thing in my mind is to get myself ready to play. "I am looking forward so that when that next chance comes, I will be in the right shape and right frame of mind to take it. That's all I'm thinking about now. Obviously we all know that, whoever is in the squad, we all want to fight for that starting place, so let's see. We're all looking forward to next season. "I want to try my best and I'm going to give it a proper go to play well, so the first thing I have to do is look after myself to make sure I'm in good shape and a good frame of mind."

Jaaskelainen says it is important that West Ham avoid the stresses of last season's flirtation with relegation by making a strong start in 2014/15 - just as they did by taking 14 points from the opening eight matches in his first season in east London. "Last season was a bit disappointing as in the early part things didn't really work out because we didn't really score enough goals and then we got injury problems. If you look at it, we finished 13th, having had a difficult season, so it's not the end of the world. We have to make sure we're ready for this coming season. "In our first season back in the Premier League, we started well, but last season we didn't get those points on the board early on and that's what created the pressure and all the injuries just made it worse. We have to make sure we're ready for this coming season so we can start well."

Looking back on his illustrious career, the goalkeeper played more than 100 games for Mikkelin Palloilijat and Vaasan Palloseura in his native Finland before joining Bolton in 1997 for a fee of just £100,000. After helping Sam Allardyce's Trotters gain promotion to the Premier League via the Play-Offs in 2001, the 6'3 tall stopper helped to establish Bolton as a top-flight force, achieving four consecutive top-eight finishes between 2003/04 and 2006/07. Jaaskelainen was also instrumental in helping the Lancashire club to finish as 2004 League Cup runners-up and twice reach the knockout stages of the UEFA Cup. While at the Reebok Stadium, the Finn played regularly alongside the likes of Kevin Nolan and Joey O'Brien. In all, Jaaskelainen made 371 Premier League appearances for Bolton and was voted the club's Player of the Year in 2007. The same year, he was also voted Finnish Footballer of the Year. In his first season at West Ham following his switch to east London in June 2012, Jaaskelainen was an ever-present, keeping eleven clean sheets as the Hammers finished tenth in the table.
His consistency earned Jaaskelainen runner-up in the 2013 Hammer of the Year award voting, while he also won the Save of the Season award and finished third in the Signing of the Season and Individual Performance of the Season categories. Last season, the veteran again began the season as No1, featuring 18 times in the Barclays Premier League, taking his total number of appearances in England's top division to 435 - 20th on the all-time list. The announcement of Jaaskelainen's deal follows the signing of Argentine forward Mauro Zarate from Velez Sarsfield and the arrival of former England striker Teddy Sheringham as the Club's new attacking coach.

World Cup Countdown - Ricardo Vaz Te
West Ham United winger Ricardo Vaz Te shares his opinions on the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals

Ricardo Vaz Te believes the South American nations will be tough to beat at this summer's FIFA World Cup finals. Brazil go into their home tournament as favourites and Hammers forward Vaz Te can see why. The Portuguese striker says they have the firepower and knowhow to triumph, although he is not ruling out a challenge from the traditional European powerhouses. "I'm not playing for Portugal, so Portugal can't win it!" he joked. "I think the South American teams have a very good chance as it's in their backyard. "Brazil are yearning for another World Cup and I think they're due one. We saw in the Confederations Cup that they were brilliant, so I think they have a very, very good chance. "All the other South American teams play at a high tempo, so with the climate the European teams might find it difficult. "I think Portugal have a good chance if Cristiano is fit and strong. My first choice is Brazil, then Germany. Portugal to be the underdogs."

Vaz Te is also tipping another South American to shine in the shape of Lionel Messi, especially as he has suffered World Cup disappointment in the past.
He added: "People have to remember that Messi is due a World Cup as well. The reason is that he hasn't performed that well and has had criticism, so if people are are going to put him on the pedestal of the likes of Pele, for that he has to win a World Cup to be in Maradona's standards. "So I think he is going to be on fire, and you have Neymar and Cristiano too - his goal ratio is ridiculous and he has high standards all day, every day."

Jussi Jaaskelainen: West Ham goalkeeper signs new contract

West Ham goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen has signed a new one-year contract to remain at Upton Park during 2014-15. Jaaskelainen, 39, joined the Hammers on a free transfer in 2012 after more than 14 years at Bolton and played 18 times in the Premier League in 2013-14. But Adrian ended the season as West Ham's first-choice goalkeeper after Jaaskelainen was dropped in January. "Physically I feel good and I felt good last season so I hope I can carry on from there," he told the club website.

Hammers prepare £10million bid?
Filed: Wednesday, 4th June 2014
By: Staff Writer

West Ham are expected to make a fresh offer for Anderlecht's €10million-rated defender Cheikhou Kouyate. Talks have taken place with the 24-year-old following the news that Valencia had pulled out of the race to sign him - although Anderlecht's sporting director Herman van Holsbeeck confirmed there was still some way to go before a deal was agreed. We have had talks with Sevilla, Valencia and Salzburg and West Ham have contacted us," he told Spanish news outlet Estadio Deportivo. "We want to make the best possible decision and sell from the most profitable aspect for us, although we take into account the opinion of the player."

* Swansea are reported to be 'lining up' a £5million offer for West Ham's troubled youngster Ravel Morrison. The 21-year-old has just 12 months left on his current contract at the Boleyn Ground and is said by the Mail to have caught the eye of new Jacks manager Garry Monk (no relation to OLAS' Harry, as far as we're aware), who is keen to take the England Under 21 international to the principality.

* Staying with the Mail, and West Ham are said to have pulled out of the deal to sign €5million-rated Milan youngster M'Baye Niang. The 19-year-old, who was given a suspended jail sentence following a hit-and-run incident earlier this year is reported to have held talks with West Ham (source: France Football) but Sam Allardyce is said to have vetoed the deal.

* West Ham are one of three clubs said to be taking a look at Dortmund striker Julian Schieber. Now 25, the former understudy to Robert Lewandowski (who has since joined Bayern Munich) managed to score just one goal last season and is primed for a move away from the Bundesliga - preferably to the Premier League, of which Scheiber recently said: "I like the style of football that's being played in the UK." Wigan and Celtic are also reported bu to be keeping tabs on the forward.

* A touch of schadenfreude... Johnny Heitinga - who snubbed West Ham during the January transfer window in favour of joining relegated Fulham - has unsurprisingly left the sinking ship and fled to Germany. A free agent having been released by the Cottagers at the end of last season (2013/14), the 30-year-old former Dutch international is poised to join Bundesliga outfit Hertha Berlin.

* Despite few if any being fooled, Jack Sullivan - son of co-owner David and semi-official club source - has taken to Twitter in order to deny a scurrilous rumour regarding West Ham being interested in signing 36-year-old Emile Heskey, who current represents Newcastle Jets in Australia's A-League.

"Just to put the rumours to rest WE ARE NOT INTERESTED IN SIGNING HESKEY ! THE RUMOURS ARE TOTALLY FALSE !" penned young Master Sullivan via his Twitter page (capitals his, not ours - presumably for emphasis).

* Former Arsenal defender Emmanuel Eboue is once again being linked with a move to east London. Now 31, the right back has just 12 months remaining on his current contract with Turkish side Galatasaray and West Ham are understood to have made discreet enquiries into his availability. Eboue cost Gala just €3.5million in 2011 but West Ham are hoping to land him for less than

West Ham miss out on Colback
Filed: Wednesday, 4th June 2014
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United are understood to have lost out in the race to sign Sunderland star Jack Colback. According to Chronicle Live, Colbeck has decided to snub West Ham in favour of Newcastle United, so that he may remain in the North East. The talented midfielder is expected to complete his move to Newcastle - the club he supported as a boy - upon his return from holiday this week. West Ham are reported to have offered Colback - who is out of contract having rejected the opportunity to remain with Sunderland - a massive £50,000-a-week deal to move to the Boleyn Ground. However despite having been tempted by the huge offer, Colback - who made 136 appearances for the Black Cats between 2008 and 2014 - has opted to sign for the Magpies instead.

Jussi signs 'til 40
Filed: Wednesday, 4th June 2014
By: Staff Writer

Jussi Jaaskelainen has signed a one-year contract extension, tying to West Ham until next summer. Initially signed by West Ham on a year-long deal in June 2012, The club exercised an addition 12 month option to keep the 39-year-old Fin for the 2013/14 season. And with that contract having expired, the two parties have come to a new agreement that will ensure Jaaskelainen - who spent much of the season on the sidelines having lost his place to Spanish goalkeeper Adrian - will celebrate his 40th birthday as a Hammer. "I'm delighted to sign for another season and I'm really looking forward to it," he told "Hopefully I can put in a proper challenge to get a starting place again. "You never know what is going to happen next season, but the only thing in my mind is to get myself ready to play. I am looking forward so that when that next chance comes, I will be in the right shape and right frame of mind to take it. That's all I'm thinking about now. "I want to try my best and I'm going to give it a proper go to play well, so the first thing I have to do is look after myself to make sure I'm in good shape and a good frame of mind."

* The last player to represent West Ham in his forties was Teddy Sheringham, who returned to the club this week as the new part-time attacking coach.
The former striker was three months shy of his 41st birthday when he made his final appearance for the Hammers in a 1-0 FA Cup defeat at home to Watford in January 2007.

Big Phil coming home
Filed: Wednesday, 4th June 2014
By: Staff Writer

Phil Parkes will return to the Boleyn Ground this weekend for the first time since undergoing an operation for bowel cancer. Big Phil - who will be accompanied by 1975 FA Cup hero Alan Taylor - is back at West Ham this weekend to take part in a tour of the ground by former players, just TWO WEEKS after having surgery to remove a growth in his bowel. "I'm down to do tours on Saturday and Sunday and I'm pretty confident that I'm going to be fine," said Parkes, who represented West Ham between 1979 and 1990. "I'm not going to do the whole tour, but I'm going to do a little bit. "It will be myself and Alan Taylor but I'll just do the meet and greet. let Alan go up and down the stairs, then I'll come back for the question and answer bit."

Parkes received the welcome news that his growth has not spread beyond the bowel wall, meaning that chemotherapy is not necessary. This he attributed this to rigorous checking - something that he urged everyone to do. "I was very lucky because I caught it very early," he added. "They categorise it as Dukes' A, B or C and A is the very early stage where they catch only ten per cent of cancers. Mine was in that because I went there early enough after spotting the symptoms. "It's so, so important that you have just got to be checked. I can't make enough of a message to get across to people; 'don't worry about it or be embarrassed' because it is very, very important and can be a matter of life or death."

Parkes also took the time to thank those fans who had sent him messages of support. "It's a very warming thought to know that I am still thought of that way by the fans, and it has helped me through the tough times," he said.

West Ham one of four clubs interested in Anderlecht's Cheikhou Kouyate
Last Updated: 04/06/14 9:53am

Anderlecht have confirmed that West Ham have joined the race to sign highly-rated Senegal centre-back Cheikhou Kouyate. Herman van Holsbeeck, the Belgian club's sporting director, confirmed the Premier League side, Valencia, Sevilla and Red Bull Salzburg were all tracking the defender, who can also play in midfield. After winning the Belgian top flight with Anderlecht, the 24-year-old is set for a fresh challenge and has also been linked with Arsenal. The Senegal international is under contract until the summer of 2016, leaving Anderlecht in a prime position to dictate proceedings with the club reportedly seeking 10million euros for the centre-back. "We have had talks with Sevilla, Valencia and Salzburg, and West Ham have contacted us," Van Holsbeeck told Estadio Deportivo.
"We want to make the best possible decision and sell from the most profitable aspect for us, although we take into account the opinion of the player." Kouyate made 38 appearances in Anderlecht's successful Pro League campaign this term.

By Iain Dale 4 Jun 2014 at 20:28
West Ham Till I Die

According to the International Centre for Sports Studies we are 17th in the league table of most valuable squads. Only Crystal Palace, West Brom and Fulham have less valuable squads than us. They value us at £37.9 million. Well, I reckons that's a drastic under-estimate. Here is my valuation…

Adrian £5 million
James Tomkins £8 million
Winston Reid £10 million
James Collins £2 million
Roger Johnson £0.5 million
Guy Demel £1 million
Joey O'Brien £1.5 million
Dan Potts £0.5 million
Mark Noble £8 million
Mo Diame £7 million
Matt Taylor £2 million
Kevin Nolan £1.5 million
Ravel Morrison £8 million
Stewart Downing £4 million
Matt Jarvis £6 million
Carlton Cole £1.5 million
Modibo Maiga £1.5 million
Ricardo Vaz Te £2.5 million
Andy Carroll £12 million

If my maths are right, that adds up to £82.5 million. OK, I may have looked at one or two players through claret & blue spectacles, but quite how they only got to £37 million is quite astonishing. More anti West Ham bias! Feel free to tell me who you think I have under or over-valued. For the full league table visit Claret & Hugh

By S J Chandos 4 Jun 2014 at 08:00
West Ham Till I Die

There were reports yesterday evening that West Ham had pulled out of negotiations to sign AC Milan prospect, M'Baye Niang. The previous reports seemed to confirm that West Ham had agreed a £250,000 season long loan deal with AC Milan, with the option of a permanent £4m move next summer. That just left the tricky business of the club agreeing personal terms with M'Baye Niang and his advisers/agents. If these reports are true, one can only assume that there has been a failure to agree terms.

Although a player of some promise, the French u-21 international, has had a patchy career to date, having been put out on loan twice in quick succession, to Caen and Montpelier. M'Baye Niang has also attracted some unwelcome publicity in the form of involvement in an hit and run incident and a subsequent suspended jail sentence. Skillful and pacey, with the ability to play at centre forward, or out wide, he was seen as making a particular contribution to West Ham's new attacking style next season. It looks as if we might now be forced to look elsewhere.

Then we go from the slightly disappointing to the completely outlandish! There were much trumpeted reports yesterday that Sam Allardyce was interested in signing 36 year old, ex-England and Liverpool striker, Emile Heskey. Goodness knows where these reports originated, but thankfully the club have now formally dismissed the story. As good a player, of a certain type, that Heskey undoubtedly was, his PL days are surely now over. And it is good to know that there will be no strange, logic defying, West Ham deal to bring the player back from Australian football. It would certainly have run a coach and horses through David Sullivan's informal upper age limit of 27 years.

Elsewhere, the latest reports are that West Ham are locked in talks with Anderlecht to make Cheikhou Kouyate their next summer signing. It would appear that the club have agreed terms with the player, the objective now is finalise a transfer fee with the selling club. There are rumours that Valencia have already bid £7.5m and we will need to at least match that fee. West Ham's great advantage is that the player apparently has set his heart upon playing in the PL. If the deal happens I guess the question that will then be posed is, will that give the club the green light to trade-in on Winston Reid. Hopefully not, I hope that we agree a new deal with Reid and let them fight it out for a starting place. Of course, there is also the option of playing Kouyate, as a defensive midfielder, alongside Mark Noble in a 4-2-3-1. In fact, this might prove to be Kouyate's best position and he could become the most powerful midfielder that we have had since M.V. Foe.

I also see that Harry Redknapp has been pronouncing on all things West Ham once again. What is his obsession with his former club and why does he feel the compulsion to comment on matters that no longer concern him? (even if the media ask him, does he need to respond in the way he does?). And just what did his contribution amount to? Telling us that Sam Allardyce will keep West Ham up next season playing his brand of football. And the West Ham board need to buy a £40m player to enable Sam Allardyce to play the attractive football demanded! Well, it certainly would not hurt, but the truth is that clubs can play an attractive attacking style without breaking the bank to that extent. Otherwise every team outside the PL top six would have been uniformly employing our tactics last season and, that, they most definitely did not However, the worst statement was his reported rubbishing of the Academy of Football as a 'fallacy.' Now remember this is not Alan Shearer talking out of ignorance. It is a man who played for the Greenwood teams of the 1960s and 1970s and was grounded in the football philosophy of that era. It seems that it is becoming ever more popular to rubbish the club's proud and unique contribution to English football, even amongst those that really should know better.

Finally, I am not totally sure about the reported 'massive rush' to renew season tickets on the deadline. That may be correct with regard to online applications, but what I do know is that I went to the ticket office on Monday morning, in person, to renew and there was no one there waiting to be served! In fact, I was expecting at least half hour stuck in a que, but no, I was 'done and dusted' in just five minutes.

SJ. Chandos

Jack Colback chooses Newcastle despite West Ham's £50,000-per-week offer
PUBLISHED: 19:37, 4 June 2014 | UPDATED: 19:37, 4 June 2014
Daily Mail

Newcastle have fought off stiff competition from West Ham to land the Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback on a five-year deal. West Ham had put together a £10 million package that would have put the 24-year-old on a £50,000-per-week package. That represented a huge wage rise from the basic £6,000-a-week Colback was earning at Sunderland, where he has been since he was 10. However the Newcastle fan is keen to stay in the North east and that appears to have been a huge factor, with Swansea, Aston Villa and Hull all tracking the player. Colback's move to St James' Park from fierce rivals Sunderland, who were also keen to keep the player, is expected to be confirmed next week. He will become the first permanent signing made by Newcastle since January 2013, but they will not have to pay a fee with Colback having run down his contract at the Stadium of Light.

Hammers still talking to big two
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on June 4, 2014 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

West Ham were this afternoon negotiating fiercely on two fronts as they attempted to bring Gareth Barry and Cheikhou Kouyate to the Boleyn. Former England midfielder Barry is also believed to be wanted by newly promoted Leicester City and Everton where he spent last season on loan. But a top Hammers insider revealed to ClaretandHugh exclusively: "Both deals are alive – Kouyate very much so but we still have to agree a fee. "We will know more over the next 72 hours but the player remains very keen to join us."

Barry, however, is now looking more likely to opt for Everton as he is well settled in the area and has the opportunity of playing European football with the Toffees However, our source revealed: "The deal is still alive and we are doing our best . There's still a squeak. We certainly haven't given up on it. "Koutaye is a big deal and we are working hard to get it done."

'Team Rav' speak out on Swans/QPR speculation
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on June 4, 2014 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

Swansea's interest in Ravel Morrison has been "entirely over-egged" according to sources close to the player. Alleged interest from the Welsh player has been in the headlines for the past few days but was dismissed today as "silly season hype." The Morrison soap opera has been running since mid winter when he moved to Queens Park Rangers on a three month loan. And since then he has been mentioned as a target for the west London outfit and Swansea City.
However, ClaretandHugh was told exclusively today by sources close to the player: "All that's happened is that we were told a couple or three months ago that he was one of several players on their radar. It is now being over-egged. "Nothing's changed – there has been no further word from them so it might be fair to say this is being over-reported. The same is true at QPR – there's an interest as there are in several players out there but there's been no word beyond that.
"Rav is a West Ham player and there would be an awful lot of negotiating to be done should a definite offer be made but we don't appear to be anywhere near that stage at this moment."

Newcastle line up Ross McCormack transfer from Leeds but West Ham are keen too
Jun 04, 2014 22:30 By Bill Cooper
The Mirror

Ross McCormack is ready to quit Leeds and make an £8million switch to Newcastle. McCormack has become unsettled at Elland Road following the sacking of boss Brian McDermott last week and would welcome the chance to move to Tyneside and realise his ambition of playing in the Premier League. The Magpies' boss Alan Pardew has been handed £35m by owner Mike Ashley for signings this summer. His priority is to bring in three new strikers after freeing Shola Ameobi and shipping last season's loanees Loic Remy and Luuk de Jong back to parent clubs QPR and Borussia Monchengladbach. Burnley's Danny Ings, who carries a £7m price-tag, whizkid Ayoze Perez of Tenerife and Cagliari's £8.25m-rated Colombia international Victor Ibarbo are on his wish-list. But Pardew has already sounded out Leeds about McCormack's availability and wants to strike a deal which would see the Championship outfit receive £6m up front and another £2m following in instalments. Scotland international McCormack, who notched 29 goals last season, pledged his loyalty to Leeds by penning a four-year contract worth £20,000-a-week 10 months ago.

Schalke and Al Ain join Portland Timbers, Aston Villa and West Ham in chase for free agent Joleon Lescott
PUBLISHED: 00:55, 5 June 2014 | UPDATED: 00:55, 5 June 2014
Daily Mail

Free agent Joleon Lescott has interest from Schalke and Al Ain as well as Portland Timbers of the MLS. The 31-year-old centre-back has interest from Aston
Lescott tweeted about his future last week saying: 'Still undecided about my future but questions over my hunger for next season disappoint me I will never represent a team and give less than 100percent.' Lescott is out of contract after five years at Manchester City.

Costel Pantilimon emerges as West Ham target despite Jussi Jaaskelainen signing new deal
PUBLISHED: 22:32, 4 June 2014 | UPDATED: 22:32, 4 June 2014
Daily Mail

West Ham are showing interest in Manchester City goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon despite Jussi Jaaskelainen signing a new deal. The 39-year-old lost his place to Adrian last season but has committed to another year at Upton Park in an attempt to win back his place. However, Sam Allardyce is already looking towards the future and has targeted the City keeper, who won the Premier League title last term. The Romanian's performances were enough to oust Joe Hart from the City starting XI during the campaign for a spell, and he featured 18 times during the season. But the 27-year-old's contract expired after the end of the campaign and the Premier League champions failed to agree a deal with the keeper who is now a free agent. Current West Ham No 1 has impressed since arriving last summer on a free from Real Betis, establishing himself as first choice keeper just before Christmas as Jaaskelainen's expense.


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