Gary Lineker leaving Match of the Day?

Gary Lineker may leave the BBC's 'Match of the Day' to host a new sports channel for BT

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Gary Lineker

Gary Lineker

Gary Lineker may leave the BBC to work on BT's new sports channel.

The 'Match of the Day' presenter's contract with the BBC is due to end soon, and BT - which paid £788 million to air 38 premier league matches from 2013 to 2016 - is keen to have a big face represent the brand when it launches.

A BT source said: "Gary Lineker's agent has been on expressing Gary's interest. Obviously we're keen that our coverage is hosted by a big name presenter with a proven track record, and few people in sports broadcasting can boast Gary's credentials.

"He's popular and experiences, and looking for a new deal at exactly the right time, so everything is falling into place nicely."

BT are particularly keen to have him on board because of the amount they have paid to show the matches.

The source added to the Daily Mirror newspaper: "We have paid an enormous amount of money for the games, so it has to be a success.

"The budget for presenters is a secret, but suffice to say there is a big chunk put aside for the main host and some pundits, and that should be adequate to tempt someone away from another broadcaster if necessary."

Gary - who began playing football in 1978 - recently claimed he was "chuffed" with how his television career had gone.

He said: "I'm almost more chuffed about what I've achieved in TV than what I did in football. I write everything I do and I really enjoy that, but it's not that easy to present live TV, dealing with autocues, getting in and out of questions with someone shouting in my earpiece.

"There were many times in the first couple of years when I thought I couldn't do it. But in the end, it was up to the public to decide if they liked me. I think that the pressures I experienced on the pitch helped me deal with all of that."

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