The X Factor 2013 bosses are set to hold talks with ITV after the new judge line-up demanded wages totalling over £6million.
The four stars are in negotations for the new run, with executive producer Richard Holloway keen to get them signed so planning can begin for the filmed auditions, The Sun reports.
Sharon Osbourne - the hot favourite to replace Tulisa - has is said to be seeking between £1.5million and £2million to return.
Head judge Gary Barlow is after an increase to his £1.5million pay packet, while Nicole Scherzinger wants her old £750,000 salary doubled as well as benefits including her own style team flown in from the US.
Louis Walsh - the only judge to have taken part in all nine editions to date - is apparently a little less greedy, settling for a renewal of his existing £1million deal.
Holloway is set to meet ITV1 head honcho Peter Fincham tomorrow for a tense discussion, but it is claimed he is not willing to boost the show's £33million budget.
"Producers know it will cost significantly more than last year," an insider commented. "If there’s a hold-up, it could mean someone is not given a judging role and it’s back to the drawing board."
However, another source said: "We know returning judges cost more. It’s what happens if you negotiate every series."
Simon Cowell - who left the panel in 2011 to concentrate on the US version - recently said he would be 'more involved' this year.
The X Factor's milestone tenth series will hit our screens in August, with producer auditions currently taking place.