Chester-born Daniel Craig has been tipped to sign on to play James Bond for the fifth time.

Speculation has been rife over the casting of 007 ever since the release of the last film Spectre in 2015, after Craig said he would 'rather slash my wrists' than play Bond again.

Bosses were originally interested in casting The Night Manager actor Tom Hiddleston, but producer Barbara Broccoli was said to have decided he was 'too smug and not tough enough', our sister paper The Mirror reports.

US reports say Hiddleston's fate was supposedly sealed following his relationship with singer Taylor Swift, which producers felt was not fit for Bond.

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They were also said to have objected to Hiddleston’s speech at the Golden Globes earlier this year, which came across as self-congratulatory and insensitive towards South Sudan - something he later apologised for.

Craig is currently the second-longest serving 007 ever and he has reportedly been convinced to sign on for another stint after working with Broccoli on the hit off-Broadway production of ‘Othello’.

Sir Roger Moore has portrayed Bond for the longest, starring in seven films, including ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’, ‘Live and Let Die’ and ‘A View To A Kill’.

Former 007 star Pierce Brosnan, who played the secret agent for seven years, said Daniel was 'brilliant' in the role and urged him to continue, saying: "It’s his for the taking for sure. Go for it man. He’s brilliant.”

It is rumoured Craig, 49, could be offered as much as £120 million to play Bond for a fifth time.