While Liam Payne recently signed a deal with Capitol Records and Niall Horan is reportedly on the verge of following in Harry Styles' footsteps by confirming an agreement to launch a solo career, Louis is concentrating on unveiling new talent.

The 24-year-old singer formed his own record label, an imprint of his mentor Simon Cowell's Syco firm, last year (15), and the music mogul has high hopes for Louis' first act - a girl band.

"He has just signed a deal with us as an imprint of a record label," Simon told Britain's The Sun newspaper. "He has a new artist who is going to be released this year I hope who are incredible.

"He has got fantastic instincts. He told me about this idea I would say a year or 18 months ago. He stuck with it. We heard the band last night, we are going to see them in rehearsals next week. They are unbelievably good. They are as good as I have ever heard. I think he has got a real knack for this."

One Direction are currently on hiatus, and haven't announced a date for their return. And Simon isn't holding his breath that the band will ever regroup, although he knows the demand for a reunion will never fade.

"I think there would be such an appetite amongst the fans for a reunion, whether it was a tour or a record," Simon said. "They are going to have successful solo careers – that is assured as much as it can be.

"They have got to make great records but I reckon they will. I wouldn’t rule anything out. With these guys, I left the decisions up to them."

Simon also told the publication that he wasn't too happy to hear that Liam had made the decision to sign with Sony's rival Capitol. He previously hinted at his annoyance, but this marks the first time he had openly revealed his anger at the move.

“It is a bit annoying if I am honest with you – mainly because it is another label who has now got your artist who you worked with for so many years," he said.

“But that is the music business, unfortunately. I don’t think anyone else from the band will do that.