Gary Lineker has named his ideal replacement for departing Match of the Day pundit Alan Hansen – David Beckham.
While the former England midfielder, with his A-list status, tattoos and estuary vowels, may not be the most obvious choice to take over from the dour and brainy Scot – who leaves the BBC show at the end of the next World Cup – Lineker says he would be the perfect choice.
"I'd love to get David Beckham but I think he has made it pretty clear where his career lies," he told The Sun. "With Alan about to retire, there is a space for the next big star of punditry – and hopefully we will find him."
Beckham has not been definitive about his future plans, although it appears likely he will continue his work as a football ambassador, as well as his involvement in charity work and his interest in fashion brands.
Should his dream signing not be available, Linker said that experimentation might be the order of the day for MOTD, but that he would miss Hansen's presence after two decades on the show.
"We are trying lots of different faces and might continue to mix it up more, but who knows?" said Lineker. "I am going to miss Alan. He has been at the top of his field for 20 years and is brilliant. Being a pundit on Match of the Day is, by far, the most difficult show to do.
"There is so very little time between games to get over a valid point and do some key analysis.
"He does it well – and of course he will be a big miss."
Hansen, currently the show's 'lead' pundit, has made it clear he will not sign a new contract when his deal expires next July, bringing an end to a 22-year association with the programme.