Nicole Scherzinger has been tipped to become the highest-paid X Factor judge in series history if she returns to the series in 2014.
According to the Sunday People Simon Cowell is set to offer the former Pussycat Doll a £3m deal to take her place on the judging panel once again – which is twice what she earned for the last series.
And the paper reports he is so keen to keep her on board that he is even prepared to move auditions around to make life easier for her as she promotes her new album, which is due out in early summer.
“Simon absolutely loves Nicole. She is the perfect judge,” a source said.
“She is thought of as one of the family. Simon loves her both on screen and off and feels she has been extremely popular with the viewers.
He is getting in quick because he doesn’t want to lose her to other commitments she has.”
The insider added: “Money is no object to Simon on this one. He is ready to throw whatever he has to at her.
He knows that he almost didn’t get her last year because of various different reasons but he won’t be making that mistake again.
Sharon Osbourne was last year’s highest paid judge with a salary of £2.5m, while Gary Barlow earned £1.5m and Louis Walsh £1m.
Reports have also suggested Simon himself will return to the X Factor panel in 2014 along with Cheryl Cole – but according to the paper he has yet to ask her to come back.
A source close to the Girls Aloud singer admitted: “She is a bit confused because she keeps hearing all of these things Simon is saying yet he hasn’t said a word to her.
“He had better hurry up and make contact if he does want her, or she will have other commitments.”