The Spice Girls are tipped to reunite without Victoria Beckham.
The British girl band - which also includes members Emma Bunton, 36, Mel C, 38, Geri Halliwell, 40 and Mel B, 37 - are reportedly set to announce their comeback within weeks.
However, they are thinking about recruiting a new member to take Beckham's place, with the fashion designer reluctant to take part in a reunion.
A source told the MailOnline: "The girls are going it alone without Victoria. They are keen to get back together and were trying to work out if they could do it as a four-piece. I think they know this is the last chance for them to get the band going again.
"But the Spice Girls as a foursome is not going to get them another record deal or sell out big venues. They need an extra cherry on the cake. And the cherry on the cake would be if they replaced Victoria."
The group was tipped to be looking for a star who has been in another successful band as their fifth member, the source said.
Though there would be interest in a television series about their search, they were more keen to pull in someone with industry experience.
"And that leads to the next question: who do they replace her with? At the moment it's all being done in a very cloak-and-dagger way and not through official channels."
When asked to comment on the speculation, a spokesperson for Beckham would only say: "Victoria respects all of the girls and will always support them all personally and professionally."
Among those rumoured to be in the running to replace her is former Sugababes star Heidi Range, 29, who is already close friends with Bunton.
Last week Beckham and her family posed separately from the group and hid away during the Viva Forever! after-party.
The 38-year-old fashion designer arrived at the marquee on the banks of London's River Thames on Tuesday evening with her husband David Beckham, 37, and sons Brooklyn, 13, Romeo, 10, and seven-year-old Cruz after the opening of the Spice Girls musical at Piccadilly Theatre.
Instead of joining the rest of her bandmates on the dancefloor, they sat quietly in the corner.
- Bang! Showbiz