Gary Lineker will step back from presenting Match Of The Day until he and the BBC have an “agreed and clear position on his use of social media”.
Telegraph Sport looks at where the 62-year-old could go next if he leaves the Beeb permanently.
The newly-branded TNT Sports will launch in July as an amalgamation of BT Sport and Eurosport and will screen both Premier League and Champions League football.
Gary Lineker has previously presented Champions League football for BT Sport, but he stepped down from that role in 2021 to follow Leicester City in Europe. Lynsey Hipgrave and Jake Humphrey currently lead BT Sport’s football coverage but TNT will surely want to make some eye-catching signings and there is no bigger name in English football presenting and punditry than Lineker.
Lineker got his big chance on Match of the Day after Des Lynam made a lucrative move from the BBC to ITV in 1999. They could offer a pay-rise but the current Premier League broadcast cycle lasts until 2025, during which the BBC has its Match of the Day highlights and live top-flight football is divided in this country between Sky Sports, BT Sport and Amazon Prime.
One attraction of ITV, however, might be the shared terrestrial arrangement for major international tournaments involving England, notably the European Championships next year and the World Cup in 2026. Mark Pougatch currently leads ITV’s football coverage.
The biggest platform for live Premier League football also already has the largest team of presenters and pundits. Appointing Lineker would be a major coup although they have appeared to follow a particular strategy following the departures of Richard Keys and Andy Gray.
The biggest and most controversial stars now are the pundits rather than the presenters, where David Jones and Kelly Cates tend to lead the coverage.
Amazon Prime is among the Premier League’s midweek broadcast partners but, with only 20 matches per season until 2025, has rather less reach and prominence than Sky Sports and BT Sport, which itself will be rebranded this summer into TNT Sports.
Amazon does also have some major tennis, NFL and NBA games but, with DAZN also eager to bid for the Premier League from 2025, the options for Lineker in England are likely to continue to expand.
Lineker spent three years abroad in Spain as a player and may be attracted by the chance to become the face of English football coverage in another country.
He speaks fluent Spanish but there is a host of other English-speaking channels who extensively follow the most popular football league in the world, notably beIN Sport, who broadcast across the Middle East, but also NBC in America. Lineker previously also presented Champions League football for Al Jazeera from 2009 until 2013.