Rapper Jay Z has revealed he wants to help Harry Styles become "the biggest artist in the world within a year".
The hip hop producer said he was interested in signing the One Direction star as a solo artist to his label Roc Nation.
But he admitted he faced a challenge from the band's current boss Simon Cowell, offering the X Factor supremo a "joint venture" instead.
The band have denied they will each be releasing solo albums after the band go on an "extended hiatus" from March this year despite widespread rumours.
Jay Z, real name Shawn Carter, told the Daily Star Sunday: "Harry doesn't need any help with exposure, everybody in the world knows who he is. But he does need to make the transition from being part of a group to becoming an individual artist.
"I can get him working with the bigger artists, the biggest producers - and have him as the biggest artist within a year.
"I would love to sign Harry. Simon is going to want to carry on working with him, of course. But we could do a joint venture - we both have big qualities we can bring to the table."
He added the 21-year-old star could make enough money "for everybody to get a piece of the pie".
Cowell brought Styles, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan together as a band at the boot camp stage of X Factor in 2010.
They were signed to his label Syco Music, under Sony Music Entertainment.
Malik, who quit the band in March last year, has since announced he is pursuing a solo career.
Last November, speaking to Steve Wright on BBC Radio 2, Styles, Horan, Tomlinson and Payne individually replied "No" when asked by the host, "Is everyone doing a solo album?"
Payne also accidentally revealed in a separate BBC radio interview that the hiatus could last two years.