Madonna's manager is being lined up to replace Simon Cowell on the 'American Idol' judging panel.

Guy Oseary - who is also Chairman of the 'Celebration' singer's label Maverick Records, which has also released LPs by The Prodigy, Alanis Morissette and Deftones in the US - is said to be the favourite to succeed Simon when he leaves the show after the current series.

Although Guy is the frontrunner he still faces competition from singer-and-actor Jamie Foxx and former Sony music boss Tommy Mottola - the ex-husband of Mariah Carey - for the judging job.

A source said: "Guy has been in the music business since Madonna discovered him when he was 17, and he has a lot of the same experience as Simon.

"His competition just can't live up to his level of experience and the people behind the show are slowly starting to realise it."

Jamie admitted it is unlikely he would be able to find the time in his schedule to appear on 'American Idol' and he may not be able to "fill Simon's shoes", while show bosses are worried Tommy could be an even fiercer critic of the pop wannabes than Simon.

The source added to the New York Daily News newspaper: "People really only know him as Mariah Carey's big bad ex. And producers are worried he'll even be harsher on contestants than Simon was."

Guy - who has made cameos in several films, including 'Charlie's Angels' and 'You Don't Mess With the Zohan', and authored four books including 'Jews Who Rock'- is keen on the job because he wants to raise his public profile.

The source said: "He was thrilled to hear Fox is considering him. He thinks it would be great for his image. And it's great exposure to boot."