Niall Horan has reportedly signed a new solo deal with Sony.

The 22-year-old singer songwriter - who made up one fifth of the popular boy band One Direction before they split in March this year - has allegedly landed a new contract with a large music company.

This news comes after Simon Cowell - who guided Niall and his former bandmates to fame after discovering them on the UK 'X Factor' - hinted the Irish star was sitting on some big news.

The music mogul told PEOPLE: ''I think they're all going to do great. Niall is the most loyal. We are expecting to announce something soon with him. I've always known he's loyal.''

Meanwhile, John Newman has admitted he has collaborated with the blonde hunk on a new track.

He explained: ''I was having a text back and forth with Niall Horan the other night about some ideas, which is cool.''

And the father of one - who has two-year-old son Eric with his partner Lauren Silverman - admitted he ''always knew'' the group, which was comprised of Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson, would want to try to forge their own careers outside of One Direction and he hoped ''that everyone would do it with us, but one flew out of the nest''.