Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Liam Payne 'in secret relationship'

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Liam Payne are reportedly an item.

British newspaper The Sun claims that the One Direction member has been involved with singer and X Factorjudge Cheryl since December.

The romance allegedly began after Fernandez-Versini called time on her marriage to Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini.

Payne has reportedly been telling his friends that he is "madly in love" with the former Girls Aloud singer.

The love-struck boyband member, who at 22 is 10 years younger than Fernandez-Versini, also has a new tattoo of a rose on his hand which is an alleged tribute to Fernandez-Versini's extensive rose tattoo on her bottom.

Payne, who split with long-term girlfriend Sophia Smith in October last year, got the new ink in January.

The pair first met on the UK X Factor in 2008, when Payne was a fresh-faced teenager auditioning in front of the judging panel which included Fernandez-Versini.

Two years later he landed a spot in One Direction when he once again tried out for the TV talent show.

But The Sun reports that they have become closer in recent years due to Fernandez-Versini signing with One Direction's management company Modest, and the pair sharing the same boss - Simon Cowell.

Their romantic relationship is rumoured to have blossomed after One Direction gave their final performance at The X Factor final back in December, before they started their hiatus.

Although not spotted together, the pair both attended the Brit Awards on Wednesday. Payne and Fernandez-Versini have yet to comment on the report.