Cheryl wants him to abandon his £6 million-a-year (Dh35 million) contract with Chelsea and join her in Los Angeles, where she is having another stab at establishing herself as a major star.
Although Ashley, 30, is trying desperately to woo back Cheryl after their painful divorce last year, friends say it is the Girls Aloud singer who is now calling the shots.
"Cheryl has told Ashley that her plan is to work on her solo music in the United States," says a source.
"She says that if he wants to be with her, he would have to be prepared to break his £120,000-a-week deal with Chelsea and play for an American team instead.
"Ashley has told her he would do virtually anything for her but this could be asking a little too much. He is still at the peak of his game— it would be career suicide for him to move to the US at this stage."
The couple's four-year marriage disintegrated after Ashley's infidelities came to light. But reports of them getting back together gathered pace after he jetted back from a holiday in New York earlier this month to attend Cheryl's 28th birthday party.
Although a spokesman last night refused to be drawn on Cheryl's personal life, a source said: "Cheryl wants to resuscitate her profile in Hollywood, but she is focusing on her musical career for the time-being."
If Ashley is tempted to follow her to the US, perhaps his old England teammate David Beckham could fix him up with a trial at his team Los Angeles Galaxy.