Simon Cowell Courts Paula Abdul

Paula AbdulPaula Abdul has had discussions with Simon Cowell about being a judge on the U.S. version of "The X Factor"... sources tell TMZ.

The irony is stunning -- Simon, the lynchpin of "American Idol," abandoning ship and teaming up with the woman who was unceremoniously dumped from "A.I."

Our sources would not say how far along the discussions have gone between Simon and Paula ... but there were talks as recently as late last week.

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