Gary Lineker lined up to present BT Sport's Champions League coverage

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BBC presenter Gary Lineker is in talks with BT Sport over becoming their new lead anchor for next season's Champions League coverage.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the former England striker, who has been fronting the public service broadcaster's flagship 'Match of the Day' show since Des Lynam retired in the late 1990s, has been identified as the man they want for a role that starts in September.

BT Sport spent close to £900 million to secure the rights to Europe's elite club competition from 2015/16 after winning the contract from Sky and ITV, and remain hopeful of renegotiating the 54-year-old's current agreement that gives the BBC exclusivity on him in the domestic TV market until 2016.

According to Broadcast magazine, the BBC are prepared to be flexible over Lineker's future, particularly as they face a battle to keep hold of their Premier League highlights deal from ITV, who are interested in bidding for the rights from 2016 to 2019.

An announcement on that is not expected until February, by which point the former Leicester City, Everton, Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur star could've already put pen to paper on a deal with the television rival.

Lineker currently presents some Champions League coverage with Al Jazeera, the Arabic television channel who he holds an additional contract with. However, a switch to BT Sport will almost certainly end his commitment there, with his domestic profile on UK TV expected to rise even further.

Over the past few years Lineker has also presented coverage of the London 2012 Olympics, the Commonwealth Games, The Open Golf and Sports Personality of the Year, and only yesterday was filmed taking part in the FA Cup fifth round draw on 'The One Show'.

The likeable lead anchor - who holds England's record for goals scored in the FIFA World Cup finals, and won the Golden Boot in the 1986 edition of world football's most prestigious tournament - also regularly features as the face of Walkers crisps; a partnership that began in 1995 and is still running today as one of the longest-running advertising campaigns ever.

Lineker has also become a popular figure on Twitter with many of his forthright views shared on social media sparking debate and often splitting opinions of football fans and the wider general public.

He's been criticised for some of the more colourful language used on the online platform, but has also received praise for his crusade to tackle some of the issues that are contaminating the beautiful game of football; under-fire FIFA president Sepp Blatter being a prime example.

Keep up the good work, Gary! 

Gary Lineker

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