One Direction are to take time apart from March to work on solo projects, the Sun has reported.
The newspaper quoted a "1D source" who said the break was "definitely not a split", adding: "They fully intend to get back together at some time in the future."
The move would mean they will not tour their latest album, making their October shows in Sheffield the last for the foreseeable future, according to the paper.
The claim follows the departure of Zayn Malik earlier this year, with the singer saying being a member of the band was not "real" to him any more.
A spokesman for the band said: "We don't comment on speculation."
1D fans - devastated by news of the band's potential split - are being comforted online by Take That, Westlife and Blue fans who been through similar turmoil with their own heart-throbs.