One Direction fans might have to wait a little longer for Zayn Malik to launch his solo career after a spokesman for his producer Naughty Boy said the track that appeared online was actually recorded for the boyband's last album.
The song, called I Won't Mind, which features the star singing over an acoustic guitar, was put up online by Naughty Boy and led to claims Malik was about to release it as a solo single.
But a spokesman for the producer, who has also worked with acts including Emeli Sande, said: " Naughty Boy and Zayn wrote and demoed the song as a contender for One Direction's album last year.
"They aren't furiously writing on his solo material or anything, there aren't plans in place for a big solo launch and this wasn't recorded in the last few days they were together.
"They are very good friends and Zayn is taking time out, including visiting Naughty Boy at his studio and hanging out together."
Its appearance online upset Malik's former bandmate Louis Tomlinson who took to Twitter, saying: "Wow @NaughtyBoyMusic you're so inconsiderate pal, seriously how f****** old are you ? Grow up ! #masterofallwisdom".
Tomlinson then told fans: "Always have struggled to bite my tongue."
The boyband, who were put together after entering the X Factor as solo acts, have spoken out to quash rumours that they are set to split up in the wake of Malik's departure.
The band vowed to continue as a four-piece after he left saying he wanted to live like a "normal" 22-year-old.
His shock departure was swiftly followed by reports the group were on the verge of breaking up, but singer Liam Payne thanked fans for sticking with the band and "not thinking it's finished".
He tweeted: "I can see a lot of people thanking us for staying but your the real Heros (sic) here thanks for not thinking it's finished."
The band have continued their tour and have been playing concerts in South Africa.
Bradford-born Malik quit the group last week after jetting back to Britain having been "signed off with stress" amid reports he had cheated on his 21-year-old fiancee, Perrie Edwards.
He told The Sun newspaper he was "upset" for the group's many millions of devoted fans - known as Directioners.
And he insisted there is no bad blood between him and his former bandmates, who have been "really supportive".