If there was any hope of Zayn Malik reuniting with One Direction, it has just been dashed.

The 22-year-old singer, who quit the boyband in March after five years, has gotten into an online spat with former bandmate Louis Tomlinson.

The duo forgot their vow to be "friends for life" when they decided to take lumps out of each other on social media as devastated fans watched the drama unfold.

It all kicked off on Twitter when Malik's pal music producer Naughty Boy shared a photoshopped snap of the pair working together in the studio. An unimpressed Tomlinson, who has previously clashed with musician, reacted by taking a dig.

"Remember when you were 12 and you used to think those Mac filters for your pictures were cool haha ! Some people still do HA!" he tweeted.

Although the pop star did not mention any names, Naughty Boy, whose real name is Shahid Khan, came to the conclusion that the tweet was directed at him and quickly fired back: "@Louis_Tomlinson and some people can't even sing...but who's complaining when there's auto tune eh," less than 15 minutes later.

Not willing to let him have the last word Tomlinson said: "@NaughtyBoyMusic Jesus forgot you were such an in demand producer...How does it feel to be riding on the back of someone else's career?"

It was at that point that Malik waded into the online bickering by telling Tomlinson: "@Louis_Tomlinson remember when you had a life and stopped making bitchy comments about mine?"

It didn't take long for fans to choose a side with Directioners expressing their disappointment, and venting their anger towards Malik.

For years there had been talk of an ongoing feud among the band members, with Heat magazine previously reporting the quintet stayed in different hotels during their Where We Are tour, only meeting when they come together to perform on stage.

Although last summer Malik and Tomlinson appeared close after a video purportedly showed the pair smoking cannabis as they were escorted to a show at the Estadio Nacional in Lima, Peru surfaced online, it looks like they bromance could not stand the test of time.

"The boys have gotten closer and want to prove more than ever that they will be as successful without him," an inside source told Hollywood Life. "They now want their next album to be the best yet. Zayn is dead to them."

The war of war of words comes just weeks after In Bradford-born Malik announced he was leaving the group after five years.

"I'd like to apologise to the fans if I've let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart. I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight," Malik said in a departing statement.

Days later Naughty Boy, who first reignited rumours that Malik would leave the boy band, unveiled what appeared to be the heartthrob's first single as a solo artist.

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