One Direction have refused to comment on reports today that they plan to go their separate ways at the start of next year.
According to The Sun
, the record-breaking boyband – who were recently named Britain’s ‘gayest’ act over icons like Kylie and Madonna
– will disband in March before going on an extended hiatus for at least a year in order to pursue solo projects, following in the footsteps of recently-departed member Zayn Malik.
Harry, Niall, Louis and Liam apparently decided to disband following a meeting in London last weekend, and will not tour in support of their upcoming fifth studio album, which is slated for release later this year. The boys will play their last arena show of their current world tour in Sheffield in October.
A source told The Sun: "They fully deserve to have at least a year to work on their own projects. There is absolutely no bad blood between them and they are all 100% behind the decision.
"It is definitely not a split and they fully intend to get back together at some time in the future. But for now it is the end and they go out on top as the world's most popular music act."
The inside added that Malik's recent departue hadn't influenced the decision, claiming: "This was the plan with or without Zayn. In fact, the band have been making amazing music and been incredibly happy without Zayn.
"Of course they would have preferred that he had stayed in the band, but they would have taken this extended hiatus even if he hadn't left."
As millions of tween fans slumped ever deeper into into a Twitter meltdown, the reports were given further credence by the band's publicist's refusal to comment on the story, DigitalSpy
The source went on to say that Harry Styles was already being pursued by Hollywood agents and record companies, while Louis Tomlinson is being eyed for a potential role on the X Factor
"All the boys have a massive amount of options available to them. It’s an exciting time because for the last five years they’ve always put the band first.", the insider said.
"Sony definitely want to secure a solo record from Harry. He has been building up to this moment for a long time and there is also a lot of interest in him from Hollywood.
"But they’re all going to be successful in their own right. They have the best contacts and a massive fanbase.”
They added: "Louis is very much in contention to be a judge on X Factor next year.
"It would be a real coup for the show to sign a member of the band and it’s definitely something he is interested in doing."
The boys, who haven't been out of the headlines over the last few weeks thanks to Zayn's trigger-happy tweeting finger
and Liam’s recent ‘homophobia’ controversy
, released the space-themed video for new single Drag Me Down
on Friday - their first as a four-piece.
Watch: Louis Tomlinson rips Liam Payne’s shirt open on stage
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