Sharon Osbourne’s return to the X Factor judging panel is looking increasingly likely, according to latest reports.

"Simon (Cowell) is a huge fan of Sharon. Things are looking good for her. She is in pole position." says a "show insider" quoted by The Sun.

The report suggested that Osbourne who originally served as a judge on the reality singing competition between 2004 and 2007 could be set to replace Tulisa Contostavlos.

Mel B had been tipped to take a spot on the panel but has now committed to America’s Got Talent.

Former N-Dubz singer Contostavlos has denied that she has been axed for the show and says she is yet to enter discussions about this year’s season.