Liverpool must pay premium for Salah replacement Bowen with agreement done

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Liverpool have just been handed a major blow in their pursuit of West Ham star Jarrod Bowen, who was said to have been viewed as a potential long-term replacement for Mohamed Salah. The England international signed a new contract with David Moyes’ outfit on Sunday, ensuring that any attempts that the Reds were planning on making to sign the winger will now require an additional premium.

West Ham announced the news of Bowen’s contract on Sunday, confirming that he has committed his future to the club until 2030. The 26-year-old played a key role in the Hammers’ Europa Conference League success last season and has continued that impressive form into the new campaign with five goals in eight Premier League games.

Liverpool had long maintained an interest in Bowen, who may have been viewed as someone with the potential to replace Salah should Saudi Arabia come knocking once again for his services. With Bowen into the last two years of his contract, the Reds may have thought that he could have been available for a reasonable price before next season, before a new deal was signed.

A new contract for Bowen doesn’t necessarily ensure that he won’t be heading to Anfield, but he almost certainly will cost more than Liverpool had initially planned – especially signed up with West Ham for six-and-a-half years.

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Even Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has seemingly given the green light to sign Bowen, describing the 26-year-old as “unbelievable” last season. “Bowen, what a player he became! Unbelievable,” Klopp said in March. “We saw him as well at Hull and he was really good at that time. I’m not sure a lot of people expected this jump, but unbelievable player.”

Liverpool have plenty of firepower in forward positions should they allow Salah to join the exodus to Saudi Arabia in the future, but no specialist right-winger that could slot in seamlessly.

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With Saudi Pro League director of football Michael Emenalo hinting that a future move could take place, Liverpool have been delivered a blow over his potential replacement.

“If it didn’t happen, it’s not because we no longer fancy the player or because we have a problem with Liverpool,” Emenalo told Sky Sports. “It’s because certain things that need to align for all the parties involved in the process didn’t align.

“Nobody is angry, we move on. But we absolutely close no doors. And if the opportunity is there to do things and do it well, and it brings Mohamed Salah to the Saudi Pro League, we’ll all be very grateful.”

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