Cheryl Cole is on the verge of quitting The X Factor to concentrate on her music career.
The 27-year-old, who has come under attack from fans and finalists this series, is on the brink of launching her pop career in the US which would mean spending more time than ever across the Atlantic, trying to break the US market.
Despite her commitments to the ITV reality show, she made a 36-hour trip to Los Angeles this month, after a last-minute call from the U.S. arm of record firm Universal.
It is said that she is close to signing a U.S. record contract with the company.
"Cheryl is hot property and breaking America is the next obvious step in her career, whether she does The X Factor or not," the Daily Mail quoted a show source as saying.
She had been thinking of making this her last series of the ITV show so she could concentrate on starting a family with her husband Ashley, before they divorced, it was thought.
Last night, a source close to Cole said: "We have not yet started talking about the next series."
Meanwhile, Simon Cowell is still keen to give Cheryl a judging role on the U.S. series of The X Factor, which will launch next year.
Bosses from Fox network, which will screen the show, flew to Britain last week to watch the show live for the second time this series - and to scout Cole.
Simon adores Cheryl and has told friends it is a "good bet" she will be joining him, but he has to persuade the Fox executives.'