As we noted earlier this month, the effect of Paula Abdul’s sudden Twitter resignation from “American Idol” seemed to have all the hallmarks of a negotiation tactic. After all, who sends out a tweet complaining about their boss’s unwillingness to pay them $12 million?

And according to a report released today by TMZ, an attempt to move Fox executives closer to her eight-figure asking price is exactly what’s been going on. Described as “retracted – in her mind,” sources suggest to TMZ that 47 year-old Abdul has a magic number of $10 million in mind before she’s willing to rejoin Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell, who are expected to receive a combined $180 million over the next 3 years.

The report goes on to claim Paula has little interest in joining the judges on “Dancing with the Stars” (in part, to keep her schedule clear for surprise “Idol” appearances), as well as noting her annoyance towards the producers of ABC’s “Ugly Betty,” who earlier this week leaked that Abdul was considering an appearance on the show. According to TMZ, “[Paula’s] not going to do it now.”

With rumors continuing to abound regarding Abdul’s return to the show, and with auditions for season 9 well underway, an official confirmation from Fox – one way or the other – should be arriving soon. Stay tuned….