JEFF STELLING is reportedly the “frontrunner” to succeed Laura Woods as the new host of talkSPORT’s breakfast show.
Stelling called time on his position as host of Soccer Saturday after 30 years in May.
Reports then emerged suggesting that he had been in talks with Amazon and the BBC over a return to broadcasting.
The 68-year-old has no plans to retire but he has been placed on gardening leave until December.
Stelling did, however, make a one-off Countdown comeback in June as the dictionary corner’s special guest while Rachel Riley put on a leggy display for his return.
Now the Daily Mail claims he is “close to agreeing a deal that would take him onto the nation’s airwaves”.
They add that his potential arrival would not have any “impact on Alan Brazil” with the former Scotland striker set to continue to present on Thursdays and Fridays.
Presenter Woods quit the radio show after three years in the role.
Woods broke down in tears just 23 minutes into her final show after a caller read her a poem sharing his appreciation for her work.
It has been an eventful week for the 35-year-old, who spent the previous few days partying at Glastonbury.
Laura was also spotted on the shoulders of Saracen’s head of psychological performance Calum Clark, hailing him as “the best”.
The award-winner will be fronting ITV’s coverage of the women’s World Cup and has been linked with replacing TNT presenter Jake Humphrey this season.
Meanwhile, we reported yesterday how Simon Thomas has won the race to replace Stelling as the host of Soccer Saturday.
The former Blue Peter presenter, 50, is allegedly the choice to fill the void left by the legendary host, who departed Sky Sports at the end of last season.
There had been much speculation over who would fill the void with fellow Sky presenters Jules Warren and Caroline Barker also understood to be in the running.
She passed away just three days after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.
Thomas, who was born in Norwich, had worked in the broadcasting industry for 18 years but took time off to look after his son, aged eight.
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He tweeted: “Well here’s something I never ever expected to be saying – but next season I will be the new host of the iconic Sky Sports.
“Ever since I stepped away from Sky in 2018 to look after Ethan after we lost his mum; rebuilding my career has not been easy.
“But Sky always said the door would be open for me to come back; but this was never the door I expected to open.
“Lots of people have said I have some very big shoes to fill – but I don’t. Jeff Stelling is a one off. An absolute master of his craft. Incomparable.
“All I can be is myself, and be the best I possibly can. This is a huge moment for me and my family and a massive honour to be trusted with such a well loved and respected program.
“It also feels incredibly special to be fully coming back to the Sky Sports family, who all those years ago believed in me after leaving Blue Peter.
“I also just want to say thank you to my wonderful wife Derrina Thomas for always believing in me and my family and friends for always having my back. See you on August 5th!”
Thomas is not the only new face joining Soccer Saturday next month.
Former Premier League referee Mike Dean has landed a role offering insight into games from the perspective of an official.
He secured the job just 24 hours after quitting football, leaving his role as a video assistant ref in the process.