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After being tipped to replace former 7.30 host Leigh Sales, Waleed Aly is no longer a potential candidate after signing a new perk-filled deal to continue on channel Ten.

Although Aly has been hosting The Project since 2015, The Australian’s Media Diary reported he has been out of contract, opening up the possibility that he could switch to the ABC.

But, Media Diary reported on Monday that Aly has signed a new “seven-figure, multi-year” deal with Ten in recent weeks, which means he will be staying on The Project until at least the “mid-2020s”.

According to the publication, Aly’s new contract includes some attractive “sweeteners” that will see him appearing on more than just The Project. He has the right to appear on ABC panel shows such as Insiders and Q+A, and he will be able to pursue his own projects at Ten.

It comes as good news for the network, after fellow Project stalwart and Gold Logie-winner Carrie Bickmore announced she would be off the air for several months while on a family trip abroad.

Bickmore’s temporary replacements – Project regulars Chrissie Swan and George Tunny – were announced late last week ahead of her departure in April.

As for who will replace Sales, who left the show after more than 11 years behind the desk, it’s widely speculated that political correspondent Laura Tingle – who filled in as the host over the summer break – or Q+A host David Speers could take the reins.

According to Media Diary, reporter Sarah Ferguson is the most likely choice, having taken over as the show’s host for six months in 2014 while Sales was on maternity leave.

Image: Getty Images

This article first appeared on OverSixty.