30/09/2012 08:35 BST

One Direction Star Liam Payne Linked To Leona Lewis

One Direction star Liam Payne has been linked to fellow singer Leona Lewis just days after separating from his long-term ­girlfriend.

Liam spent two nights out in London with the Bleeding Love hitmaker last week, according to the Sunday Mirror, and a friend of the boy band star suggests the dates could start the beginning of a long term relationship.

A source tells the paper: "He is really excited about how things are going with Leona. As soon as the chance came to ask her out he grabbed it - and they really enjoyed their dates together."

Payne has been linked to Lewis despite just coming out of another relationship

The pair deliberately stayed out of paparazzi lenses at celebrity hot-spots as they nurtured their fledgling romance.

The insider adds: "Although they were in London they managed to stay out of the limelight and are really into each other."

Liam broke up with The X Factor dancer Danielle Peazer two weeks ago after reportedly confessing his feelings about Lewis to her.

A family source tells the paper: "Liam has never made any secret of his feelings for Leona. It hardly went down well last year with Danielle when he practically admitted he had a crush on her.

"Then earlier this summer Leona told how she enjoyed giving Liam advice about his career. It was all harmless fun at the time. But now Liam seems to have moved on to Leona."

Payne is 19 and Lewis 27, but he source says: "He is not at all bothered about the eight-year age gap."