Gary Lineker is a well-known name in the world of sports, especially football. He is widely regarded as one of the best football players of his generation and holds a special place in the hearts of football fans worldwide. After retiring from football, he continued his association with the game as a pundit and presenter. For many years, he was the face of Match of the Day, the flagship football program of the BBC. However, he has been absent from our screens for some time now, leaving fans wondering when he will make his return. In this article, we will discuss the reasons behind his absence, the speculations around his return and his future with the BBC.

Lineker’s absence from our screens has been felt keenly by fans of football and the Match of the Day program. He was the host of the show from 1999 to 2019 and was loved for his insights, dry humor, and affable nature. However, his absence from the program since the end of the 2018-19 football season has left fans searching for answers.

There have been several reasons cited for his absence, ranging from health concerns to contractual disputes. In August 2020, Lineker revealed that he had contracted Malaria during a charity trip to Africa, which had hampered his ability to work. However, he assured fans that he was recovering well and hoped to return soon. Another reason for his absence was believed to be the issue of his salary, which has been a subject of much debate in recent years.

Lineker is reputed to be the highest-paid presenter on the BBC, earning around £1.75 million per year. This has sparked criticism from some quarters, with suggestions that his salary is excessive, especially considering the current financial climate. In recent years, there have been calls for the BBC to cut his pay, and in February 2020, he agreed to take a pay cut. However, it is unclear if this was the reason behind his absence from the Match of the Day program.

Another reason that has been cited for his absence is the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Like many other TV productions, the Match of the Day program was disrupted due to the pandemic. The program resumed in June 2020, but with new safety protocols in place, which may have affected Lineker’s ability to participate. Additionally, the pandemic has caused a significant shift in priorities for broadcasters, with news and current affairs taking precedence over sports programming.

As for when Lineker might make his return, there have been no official announcements by the BBC or Lineker himself. However, there have been speculations that he might return for the upcoming 2021-22 football season. Reports suggest that the BBC is keen to have him back on the program and that discussions are ongoing. However, with the pandemic still ongoing and uncertainty around the future of sports broadcasting, it is unclear when Lineker’s return might happen.

Despite the uncertainty, Lineker’s future with the BBC seems secure. In November 2020, he signed a new five-year deal with the broadcaster, which will see him continue to work on various programs. He will also be involved in the coverage of major sporting events such as the Olympics and the World Cup. The deal was seen as a vote of confidence in Lineker’s abilities and his value to the BBC.

In conclusion, Gary Lineker’s absence from the BBC has been felt by many football fans. While there have been several reasons cited for his absence, there is no official word on when he might return. However, with his recent signing of a new deal with the BBC, his future with the broadcaster seems secure. Fans will no doubt be eagerly awaiting his return to our screens and his unique insights into the beautiful game of football.

As an AI language model, I find it difficult to know whether Gary Lineker will actually return to the BBC, but it seems that it is on the cards.