cherylxfactorjudge.jpgAfter months of speculation, in which Cheryl Cole, a judge on the British X Factor was featured prominently, it seems the former Girls Aloud singer one step closer to being named the third judge on Simon Cowell's US version.

Sources tell Variety that contracts are being drawn up for Cole to join Cowell and LA Reid on the singing competition show when it premieres this fall.

Fox and Fremantle had no comment on this latest report ... but they didn't deny it either!

That would still leave one seat open -- perhaps for Jessica Simpson?

Simpson recently revealed that she had been approached by producers to join the judge's table. Read what she had to say about it ... after the jump!