Mohamed Salah's options would be going "sideways to Manchester City or down anywhere else" if he left Liverpool, says ex-Reds striker Michael Owen.
The 29-year-old Egypt forward's deal runs out in summer 2023.
"I'd be very surprised if Mo Salah didn't sign with Liverpool. What are the options at the moment?" Owen said.
"You are only going either sideways to Manchester City or down anywhere else because there is no-one else as good as these two teams in the world at the moment.
"Let's give everyone time because these things don't happen overnight.
"You are talking about one of the biggest clubs in the world and one of the biggest players in the world and that player is about to sign the biggest contract of his life.
"I think it's entirely normal that negotiations can drag on a little bit," Owen told BBC Sport.
Salah joined Liverpool from Italian club Roma in summer 2017 and has scored 153 goals in 239 appearances.
He has helped the club win the Premier League, Champions League, League Cup, Fifa Club World Cup and Uefa Super Cup during his time at Anfield.
Owen, who scored 40 goals for England, started his career at Liverpool before spells at Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Stoke City.
Speaking at the launch of IPL Soccer - a new tournament to help British Asians showcase their talents - he believes Liverpool should not break their wage structure to keep Salah.
"You can't give players what they want. The whole game would be a disaster if that was the case," he said.
"Liverpool have got to run it as a business. They can't, of course, give any player what they want because if you do then there are lots of other players in the squad that could be knocking on Jurgen Klopp's door saying, 'well, hang on a minute, if he's on this then I should be on that'. Then the whole structure they've built so well over the years would fall apart.
"I'm sure Liverpool are very sensible, I'm sure Mo Salah and his representatives are all very sensible and understand that. It's just a case of them finding the middle ground and, hopefully, everybody will find that quite soon.
"Mo Salah has got to be thinking about the chances of success in the future - if he's thinking along those lines then Liverpool ticks that box. It's just a question of whether they tick the box financially as well."
The IPL Soccer tournament will take place at Derby County's Pride Park stadium on 8 May and feature four teams from London, Derby, Birmingham City and Leicester City, with British Asian players selected through regional trials and networks.
A former Premier League player will be part of each team, with former Arsenal and Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant, ex-Liverpool and Leicester City striker Emile Heskey, former Aston Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie and ex-Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor all involved.
Scouts from a number of professional clubs are also being invited to the tournament.
There are plans to expand the event in 2023 and include a women's tournament.
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