Jermaine Pennant claims Cheryl is 'madly in love' with ex Ashley Cole

Jermaine Pennant is convinced Cheryl is still "in love" with her ex-husband Ashley Cole.

The 35-year-old outspoken footballer - who has just entered Britain's 'Celebrity Big Brother' house - has claimed that the former Girls Aloud singer is still hung up on her former flame.

Speaking on Fubar radio before he went into the abode on Thursday (16.08.18) night, Jermaine said: "I think she's still caught up over Ash."

Cheryl divorced Ashley - whom she was married to for four years - in 2010 following allegations that he had cheated on her.

Jermaine explained: "I think that took a toll on her as a person as well. She was madly in love with Ashley and I think her relationships now after Ash, she's sort of struggled [with]."

The sportsman was accused of leaking the story about Ashley's alleged infidelity, but Jermaine has claimed it was probably Cheryl who spoke out about it because she wanted to use her failed love life to boost her fame and fortune.

He said: "Obviously Ash told me about it, and a certain someone else, and that friend was very close with Cheryl at the time, closer than I was.

"It was like well, 'It's not going to be him', and the last person they looked at was me. I phoned my friend explaining, saying, 'Look, don't be surprised if it's Cheryl'.

"Girls Aloud at that time was just coming out, so I thought that would be a good story for them, for Cheryl, for Girls Aloud, to promote themselves."

The 35-year-old pop star then went on to marry Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini before ending their marriage less than a year later in order to date One Direction star Liam Payne.

The pair have 17-month-old son Bear together but announced earlier this year that they had decided to go their separate ways after less than two years of dating.

Ashley, on the other hand, has two children - a two-year-old son and a six-month-old daughter - with his Italian model girlfriend Sharon Canu.