Nicole Scherzinger's representative has said she is still in talks about returning to The X Factor, but tweets from Simon Cowell seem to suggest she has left the show.

The ITV singing contest judge was rumoured to be leaving the panel to concentrate on her own music career, but her spokesman told the Daily Mirror: "Nicole is still in discussion with X Factor bosses about the show."

However, show boss Simon, who is returning to the UK series this year, tweeted: " Nicole will always be a part of the X Factor family. Now signed to Sony as an artist. Thank you Nicole for everything.

"And I hope to share some very very exciting news with you next week."

Meanwhile Cheryl Cole posted an Instagram photo that hinted she may be about to rejoin The X Factor as a judge.

Under the hashtag #tbt - throwback Thursday - where users share old snaps, she showed her fans a photo of herself and Simon on set during their days as judges, wagging her finger in his face.

Simon also tweeted an explanation of his decision to leave The X Factor USA, which has not been renewed: "Thought I should try and explain what really happened. Both Fox and us made the decision to protect a very important brand to us.

"Sometimes we rest these shows in other countries. And that's what we did in a crowded market. In most cases the show returned stronger.

"The last time I appeared on X Factor UK it resulted in over 45 million record sales. So I decided last year to return home to the UK show."

He added: "And to anyone considering applying for X Factor this year. Do it. We are taking this year very seriously. It's all about the talent."