As Gary Lineker steps away from hosting Match Of The Day as he hammers out social media guidelines with the BBC, minds have naturally turned to who will replace him on screens this weekend.
There are plenty of seasoned football experts who could step into their shoes, but it’s not yet clear who will take over.
Ian Wright ruled himself out on Friday night in “solidarity” with the football presenter, who has been caught up in a media firestorm following controversial comments about the government’s new immigration policy.
Alan Shearer also said he wouldn’t be appearing on the show and Alex Scott shared a gif confirming he wouldn’t be replacing Lineker.
The BBC’s highest-paid star sparked a major political row this week after comparing the language used to launch a new government campaign against migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats to 1930s Germany.
Previously, Mark Chapman, who hosts Match Of The Day 2, stepped in to cover the controversial broadcaster, but other names that were mentioned include Alex Scott and Jermaine Jenas.
Here MailOnline takes a look at some of the people touting themselves as Gary Lineker’s replacement…
Gary Lineker will step down from presenting Match of the Day pending further discussions with his bosses, the BBC announced today.
Ian Wright and Alan Shearer ruled out on Friday night in ‘solidarity’ with the football presenter
Mark Chapman, 49, is the host of Match Of The Day 2 and previously filled in for Gary Lineker.
The 49-year-old presenter, nicknamed ‘Chappers’, became the main presenter of Match Of The Day 2 in 2013.
He has had a long career in sports journalism, including hosting sports reports on BBC 5 Live and Monday Night Club.
Mark Chapman started out as a continuity announcer, before becoming a cricket correspondent for BBC North East radio.
He worked as a reporter for BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat on The Sara Cox Show before moving to BBC Radio 5 Live in 2010.
Away from the BBC, Mark presents coverage of the Carabao Cup for Sky Sports and hosts The Athletic’s Business of Sport podcast.
The sports broadcaster has presented since the 2014 World Cup, Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Euro 2016, and the 2016 and 2022 Olympic Games.
Chappers is also Chairman of the Board of the Manchester Originals cricket team and is a Non-Executive Director of Altrincham Football Club.
Gabby Logan has previously filled in for Gary Lineker in Match Of The Day and is considered a stable pair of hands.
Alan Shearer, Eniola Aluko and Gabby Logan working for Amazon Prime before a Premier League match on December 28, 2022
An experienced presenter who fronted Final Score between 2009 and 2013, Gabby Logan, 49, has presented a variety of shows on the BBC.
After getting his start in television on ITV presenting On The Ball, Logan joined the BBC in 2007 and covered several soccer world cups before becoming the host of the Six Nations Championship.
The former gymnast is the main athletics presenter on BBC Sport and has covered many major games.
Since 2009, she has been a frequent stand-in presenter for BBC One’s The One Show and has also presented BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
He previously substituted for Gary Lineker on Match Of The Day and is considered a steady pair of hands.
Logan also spearheaded coverage of the Lionesses’ successful Euro 2022 campaign and is part of The Invictus Games host team.
The 40-year-old former professional midfielder is in the running to replace Gary Lineker in this weekend’s Match of the Day.
Jenas became a freelance pundit after his retirement from professional football, starting out as an analyst for ITV Sport’s coverage of the 2014-2015 UEFA Europa League before joining BT Sport in November 2014.
Midfielder-turned-TV presenter Jermaine Jenas, 40, is another candidate to cover for Gary Lineker this weekend.
The former Nottingham Forest, Newcastle and England midfielder retired from professional football in 2016 after failing to fully recover from a knee injury.
Jenas became a freelance pundit, starting out as an analyst for ITV Sport’s coverage of the 2014-2015 UEFA Europa League before joining BT Sport in November 2014.
He appeared on a reality show Time Crashers on Channel 4 in 2015, where different celebrities were challenged to live in different historical eras.
In 2017, he presented a BBC Three documentary about knife crimes in his hometown of Nottingham and during the Teenage Knife Wars recalled being the victim of knife-point robbery as a teenager.
He began co-hosting The One Show with Alex Jones in 2020 and became a permanent host in 2021.
Jenas acted as the draw host for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and is widely seen as a rising star for the BBC.
‘MATCH OF THE DAY’ HOST ODDS
Jermaine Jenas 6/4
Alan Shearer 5/2
Alex Scott 9/2
Mark Chapman 10/1
Gabby Logan 1/20
Micah Richards 200/1
Roy Keane 250/1
Jamie Carragher 250/1
Gary Neville 250/1
A BBC spokesperson said of the dispute: “The BBC have been in extensive discussions with Gary and his team over the past few days. We have said that we consider his recent activity on social media to be a violation of our guidelines.
“The BBC have decided that they will stop presenting Match Of The Day until we have a clear and agreed position on their use of social media.
‘When it comes to leading our football and sports coverage, Gary is second to none.
“We’ve never said that Gary should be an opinion-free zone, or that he can’t have an opinion on issues that matter to him, but we’ve said that he should stay away from taking sides on political issues or political controversies.’