A source connected to the band reveals “there is growing concern among the bosses that Zayn is on the brink at the moment.”

“He feels that the last six months have been his toughest yet in the band,” the insider tells us.

“Even before the cheating scandal, Zayn was steering clear of nights out with his bandmates and sometimes would skip media events. He has been quite low at several points when being away for key family celebrations. But his pals have cheered him up. People forget he is the shyest member.

“Naturally, he likes the adoration and his day job, but he is battling to cope with the pressure which comes with it.”

And when it comes to the job, the insider tells us that Malik finds it hard to keep a good public image.

“Every step 1D makes is scrutinized and judged by the public and media. Their reputation as role models to teens is also weighing heavy on his shoulders as it is not natural for him to be bright, bubbly and smiley twenty-four seven.

“All of the boys to a certain extent feel that things have changed since they became so huge. They used to have fun together wherever they went, but now the novelty has worn off and the reality of 1D being a round the clock job is sinking in.

“The five were urged to calm down publicly by management, and duck away from ‘late night partying’ ‘sleeping with fans’ and ‘out of control drinking.’”

The insider adds that Malik feels he’s ruined the band’s image after news of his alleged dalliance broke.

“Zayn feels that being caught out with Courtney has made the band look bad, and is still worried about how bosses will react in the long run.

“Simon made it clear that everyone makes mistakes and the key is to resolve problems and move on with what they do best.”

Malik is back in the arms of girlfriend Edwards after talks in the last ten days. He convinced his pop star ladylove that Webb, 21, used him to get famous.

The source continues, “Zayn suspected almost immediately that he had been duped by Courtney and warned Perrie about the possibility of a kiss-and-tell story emerging — that was before the media even found out.

“It really sent him into a tail spin. He had a mixture of emotions — guilt for his cheating, anger for being led astray by the girl, shame for the world finding out, upset at how his bandmates and management would react and doubt about whether he would still have a place in the band.

“When something like that happens it rocks the mind of such a young star. Zayn just seemed lost for several days. But with the authority of Simon, he was given time off from band commitments and rehearsals to explain his situation to Perrie.

“No one in the management wants Zayn to leave or even consider quitting, with days to go before their biggest tour ever. He is a lovely, caring and funny chap — but there is no doubt fame has changed his outlook.”

And that outlook isn’t too pretty for Directioners. According to our insider, members of Malik’s family feel it’s time for him to step away from the spotlight.

“Some feel he is in a fragile state,” the source says. “There are certain members of his family who have told him if he is unhappy with the money made so far he could walk away.”

“All this advice, worry and stress is washing around his mind. We were shocked that he cheated on Perrie, some of us wonder if his next move will shock us even more when he says he will leave the band?”

I really hope everything gets better for him <3