The BBC aim to secure the future of Gary Lineker at the corporation following the news that they will continue airing Match of the Day until 2029.
The former footballer is set to open contract talks with the BBC, the Mail report, once they confirm they'll be able to continue showing Premier League highlights for four more years. The 62-year-old's contract – worth a whopping £1.35million-a-year – expires in 2025 which is when the BBC's existing deal for highlights also comes to an end.
The BBC will continue showing its flagship show until 2029 with rivals ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 not entering the auction for the broadcasting rights to the Premier League.
READ MORE: Alan Shearer calls Gary Lineker ‘f****** idiot’ for rejecting Man Utd and Alex Ferguson
READ MORE:Gary Lineker reckons current Man Utd star can be his replacement as Match of the Day host
The ex-England star is the BBC's top-paid presenter who are eager to extend his contract just months after he was suspended by them in March after a social media post he wrote that said the government's language regarding asylum policy was ‘not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s’.
The suspension reverberated across the country as colleagues Alan Shearer and Ian Wright went on strike in their support of Lineker as conversations surrounding the political impartiality for BBC presenters became a major topic. However, an independent panel ruled that the BBC’s non-news presenters should be allowed to express political opinions.
Who will be Gary Lineker's future replacement as Match of the Day host? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below
Lineker will surely be pleased with the BBC securing Champions League highlights from next season, a competition the Englishman used to present coverage for during his time at BT Sport. In an interview with GQ, Lineker opened up about his love for football and admitted he's never been bored of the sport.
"It’s the one ever-present in my life [Lineker is 62]. I had kids at a certain age; I was married for a lot of time; my parents are no longer here," he said.
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"Football is the one thing that’s been there the whole way through. And I’m not one of these old players who thinks it’s not as good as it was. It’s massively improved."
In terms of life beyond Lineker for MOTD, Jermaine Jenas has long been touted as a potential option as his successor, while the presenter this week also name-dropped Manchester United's Mason Mount as someone who could step into the role one day.
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