Speculation is mounting that Cheryl Cole will return to the judging panel of the US X Factor following her sacking last week.

According to the News Of The World executives at TV network Fox have decided to give the Girls Aloud singer a reprieve after Simon Cowell stepped in.

And there are rumours that she could be rejoining the panel when auditions take place in New Jersey later this week.

The paper reports that Simon has been frantically thrashing out a deal for the singer to return while she has been trying to sort out an American visa.

“This is the biggest surprise of the lot,” a source said. “Who could possibly have predicted this – it appeared that Simon had dumped Cheryl for good.

“But behind the scenes Simon has been wooing Cheryl. And key executives at Fox have realised they had made a big mistake. They have been watching the tapes of her at the American auditions and realising that she could be a huge star over there.”

However the Sunday Mirror reports that while Cheryl has been formally offered an invitation to return to LA, no deal has been made for her to return to the show.

Sources have also suggested that the offer could be a ploy from Fox and Simon’s company Syco to gain the upper hand in any legal negotiations between them and Cheryl.

However a source close to Simon confirmed, “We have offered Cheryl a second chance and she might still come back to US X Factor. Fox have been re-examining the situation and have had a change of heart.

“After the debacle with the UK ­judging panel we have started negotiating with Cheryl’s camp and the ball is now in her court.”