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Inside story of Mohamed Salah's new Liverpool contract with secret meetings and emails key to agreement

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READ MORE: Mohamed Salah Liverpool contract saga ends same way it began after Julian Ward intervention READ MORE: Mohamed Salah contract, Jude Bellingham and what's next in Julian Ward's Liverpool masterplan Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonnucci, for example, were the defensive bedrock behind Italy's European Championship victory last year at the ages of 36 and 34, while Chelsea's Thiago Silva, who turns 38 in September, is still starring in the Premier League for Chelsea.

Before there were any handshakes over personal terms, performance-based bonuses or lengths of contract, the most important agreement between Liverpool and Mohamed Salah centred firmly around events on the pitch.

• Mohamed Salah contract, Jude Bellingham and what's next in Julian Ward's Liverpool masterplan • Where Mohamed Salah ranks in Premier League's top earners after new Liverpool deal • Manchester striker 'burst into tears' after Liverpool approach before living his dream on 'horrific' Anfield night • How Julian Ward secured new Salah deal as wages and structure explained

In the modern game, top players are performing for longer and few are as dedicated to their craft as the recently-turned 30-year-old.

For Salah himself, the belief that he could maintain the extraordinary levels of the last five years well into his 30s was and is unshakeable.

If Salah was to remain at Liverpool for the next three years as the highest-paid player at Anfield, there was one non-negotiable that had to be reached above all else.

It means Salah will head into day one of pre-season training on Monday morning with an extra spring in his step.
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