Ed Sheeran has dropped a big hint about the possible release date of his next album – and it could see him come into direct competition with Adele when it comes to awards season!

The British singer-songwriter, still enjoying huge success with his second record X, released 16 months ago, has announced that his record label is weighing up the possibility of a September 2016 release date for the next one. However, Sheeran himself is sceptical as it would mean competing with arguably the biggest star in the world.

“Adele is releasing her album in the same Grammy category,” the megastar told Billboard about the prospect release date of a new record. “I don't know if I'm brave enough to go up against her.”

Ed SheeranEd Sheeran reckons his third album will be even bigger than 'X'

24 year old Sheeran has been nominated for six Grammys, including three this year, but has yet to enjoy a victory in any of them.

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Sheeran, who has also recently seen the release of a concert movie Jumpers For Goalposts, about his three-night Wembley extravaganza this summer, says that the next album will be even more honest than X.

“There's a lot more heart in it. It's a lot more honest than the last record,” he explained. “The last record was honest. There was a couple of songs like 'The Man', which I kind of wish I didn't put on. But there's probably seven songs on this new record that I wish I didn't put on when I release it. They're all a bit too brutally honest.”

Despite the gargantuan sales records, Sheeran reckons that album number three will make it even bigger than the last one. “I know this third record's going to be better than anything I've done,” he said. “I'm positive that this is going to be the really big one.”

More: ‘Jumpers For Goalposts’ sees Ed Sheeran at his most humble [trailer]