Niall Horan reportedly snubs Simon Cowell to sign solo deal with Universal

Rumoured deal comes weeks after Cowell praised Horan’s loyalty

One Direction singer Niall Horan has reportedly signed a solo record deal with Universal, just weeks after the band’s manager Simon Cowell said he expected him to stay with his own Syco label.

No official announcement has yet been made about the deal, but The Daily Star Sunday reported that Horan has signed to Universal. It follows Liam Payne leaving Cowell’s management to sign with Doyen Global, the firm headed by David Beckham associate Simon Oliveira.

With Zayn Malik managed by Turnfirst, who also represent Ellie Goulding and Jack Garratt, it means Cowell now only manages Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson of the original One Direction line-up.

Cowell told People in July: “Niall is the most loyal. We’re expecting to announce something soon with him. I’ve always known he’s loyal. We’re talking to all of One Direction at the moment. Most of them are incredibly loyal, and you don’t always expect that. Niall, Harry and Louis are amazing.”

Horan had put his music career on hold to start a golf business, Modest Golf Management, with One Direction’s management in February to try to find new British and Irish golfing talent.

One Direction officially went on hiatus in January, with former member Malik so far the only member to release any solo music. Styles appears in Christopher Nolan’s new film Dunkirk, which will be released in July 2017.