Eileen Derbyshire, who left Corrie in January 2016, is reportedly wanting to return to the show.
The Coronation Street legend played Emily Bishop for 55 years from 1961.
A source said: "The producers are in contact and are desperate for her to return next year with the offer of a few small parts."
Eileen's character Emily left the soap to visit Peru to see her nephew Spider.
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In October a brief clip of Emily wishing Ken Barlow a happy 80th birthday was aired during an episode.
An insider told The Sun: "Eileen knows she can come back anytime. The door is always open.
"She’s never said she’s leaving the soap, just that she needs to continue to take time off, and the bosses will never write her out or kill Emily off.
"The producers are in regular contact with her and are desperate for her to return next year with the offer of a few very small parts."
The soap star was granted time off by show bosses for "personal reasons".
Show executives have insisted the door has always been kept open for Eileen, 88.
Another show source told the publication: "Talks are always on-going between Eileen and Coronation Street bosses, nothing has been confirmed yet but the conversation is always open."
Eileen won an MBE for services to drama in 2000, and has become one of the show's biggest stars.
Only Bill Roache (Ken Barlow) has had a longer tenure on the soap than her.
He has played the legendary character since the show first aired in 1960.
- Coronation Street
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