JARROD BOWEN has hinted that West Ham United were the only team to make a “concrete offer” for his services during the January transfer window, despite the strong interest from Newcastle United.

The Magpies are known to have been keen on the 23-year-old, having seen him develop into one of the Championship’s most potent forwards since Steve Bruce took him to Humberside from Hereford United in July 2014.

Bowen is known to have been keen on being reunited with Bruce at St James’ Park but Newcastle were reluctant to pay the Tigers’ asking price, which is believed to have been a deal eventually worth £22m.

But after signing a deal at West Ham on deadline day, Bowen has suggested how moving to Newcastle was never really an option for him before the 11pm last Friday.

“I knew there’d been other teams interested in January, but West Ham were the only ones that I knew had put a concrete offer in,” said Bowen.

“The others, like Crystal Palace, came from nowhere a little bit, and I wasn’t aware that they had actually made an official bid.

“In the end, it was a no-brainer to join West Ham, but I still needed to take five minutes to myself, because it’s a big moment for anyone to move club. I’m very happy.”

The Bowen price-tag coupled with valuations of other targets across Europe ended up with Newcastle not adding to their forward line in January. Others were considered in Italy and Germany.

Now Bruce is focused on getting Newcastle to move forward and end the season strongly with what he has – and his squad are currently enjoying a break after the FA Cup replay success at Oxford United.

Newcastle had played 11 games in 40 days so he was keen to give them almost a week off ahead of a return to training to build up to the trip to Arsenal on February 16.

Bruce, whose side face West Brom in the fifth round now, said: “I have had enough of the players then they have with me. They can go and see family, find the sun, have six days off, then we will go to work again.

“It has been a long time since we have been past the fourth round. We go to West Brom and after that if we can win you never know what will happen.

“When Oxford came back to 2-2 I was just thinking this is the FA Cup. Complete control then they score twice. Top corner and a wonderful volley. Then we needed Matt Ritchie to save us with a wonderful last ditch tackle. This is Newcastle United!

“I learned at Hull the FA Cup is a bit special. We won 2-3 games at Hull then it is quarter final, semi final, final. That will rank with the fans. It is one of the great occasions.”

Newcastle will be keeping an eye on players’ fitness ahead of that trip to the Emirates, with striker Joelinton nursing a rib injury. Bruce has confirmed his 25-man squad for the rest of the season, with new signings Nabil Bentaleb, Valentino Lazaro and Danny Rose all replacing the departed Ki Sung-yueng and injured pair Jetro Willems and Paul Dummett.

Bruce is focusing on the football despite fresh takeover claims circling the club. It has been claimed that a number of top flight clubs are ready to express reservations about the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia getting involved in English football amid human rights concerns.

Sources close to the deal are believed not to be concerned about the Saudi sovereign fund representatives passing the Premier League board’s Owners’ & Directors’ Test.

And earlier this week Premier League chief executive Richard Masters was asked about the rise of foreign ownership in the English top-flight, and particularly the Saudi Premier League investment.

“It is a hypothetical situation at the moment,” said Masters. “The acquisition of football clubs, the passing of the owners’ & directors’ test, are just about the most confidential processes in the regulatory side of the Premier League operations.”