U2 will release a new album in early 2011 called 'Songs of Ascent" manager Paul McGuinness has revealed.

Speaking to the IrishTimes McGuinness said “I would expect a new U2 album sooner than anybody thinks. I would guess early 2011 before the next leg of the American tour which starts in May,”

He said several songs from the new album have already been released, including 'Mercy', 'Every Breaking Wave', and 'Boys Fall from the Sky'. The album has been given the title 'Songs of Ascent'.

He also defended sales figures for No Line on the Horizon , which he claimed had held up “remarkably well” despite many stories saying the album was a flop and a comment by producer Steve Lillywhite that it did not work.

Lillywhite later disputed the accuracy of the comments .

It sold “roughly” five million copies McGuinness revealed.

Their 2004 album 'How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb' had sold twice that number.

The promotion of the album was badly disrupted when Bono hurt his back in May, was operated on and was sidelined causing the cancelation of the tour