Malik left the band’s fans heartbroken when he announced he was leaving the group back in March 2015.
While Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan have continued to make music as a four-piece, Payne insists he would always be happy to have Malik back in the group, reports femalefirst.co.uk.
Payne was asked if he would let Malik come back, he said: “Of course, I love Zayn – he’s great.”
However, he did add the prospect was unlikely.
“Zayn’s just doing his own thing,” Payne told photographers at LAX Airport on Saturday.
And the idea of replacing Malik is also unlikely, as Payne said: “There’s enough people, we don’t need any more.”