Sky Sports live auditions to find replacements for axed Soccer Saturday pundits

Sky Sports will reportedly hold live auditions for new Soccer Saturday pundits after axing Matt Le Tissier, Charlie Nicholas and Phil Thompson.

Jeff Stelling hosted Saturday's shortened version of the show providing updates from the first round of the Carabao Cup.

But the popular presenter is yet to commit to Sky for the rest of the season, amid speculation he may quit the show after 25 years.

Paul Merson, Clinton Morrison and Glen Johnson are among those in the running to land permanent slots on the new-look Soccer Saturday, according to the Daily Mail.

And Chris Kamara – revered for his hilarious and often gaffe-prone pitchside updates – could swap stadiums for the studio with a place on the panel.

Other pundits who could be in the running for a place on the panel include Danny Gabbidon and Jamie Mackie, with Sky aiming for greater diversity of years of the programme being dominated by white, middle-aged men.

Le Tissier, Nicholas and Thompson were axed last month after amassing more than 50 years' service between them.

Sky had been cutting staff numbers, with Scott Minto also losing his job.

The broadcaster said: “We are changing some parts of our football coverage.

"Matt, Charlie and Phil have done a great job for us over the years, and they will leave us with our sincere thanks and very best wishes.”

Stelling paid a heartfelt tribute to his colleagues, writing on Twitter at the time: "One of my saddest days ever at Sky Sports with the departure of three of my best mates.

"They have been part of a team that for me was the best."

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Le Tissier had come under fire before being dismissed from the show for sharing his thoughts on coronavirus and the government response on social media in recent weeks.

He had urged fans to “look beyond the headlines and government propaganda” in a lengthy post on Twitter.

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