Jason Pearce savoured remaining a Pompey player and insisted: There’s nowhere else I want to be.
The 24-year-old appeared to be heading out of Fratton Park yesterday, with Ipswich offering the cash-strapped Blues a precious transfer windfall.
Several other Championship clubs also emerged with late deadline day bids for the defender.
Pearce himself feared he would have to be sold in order to help Pompey pay an outstanding £1.6m tax bill.
Yet, to his delight, the club snubbed all interest in the former Bournemouth man.
It capped a tremendously-encouraging deadline day for Blues fans, with just Ryan Williams leaving.
In addition to Pearce, both Stephen Henderson and Joel Ward turned down moves to Ipswich after a reported £1m transfer fee for the pair had been agreed.
News that the club’s bright, young stars are eager to stay represents a massive boost.
And fans’ favourite Pearce is delighted to continue playing for Pompey.
He told The News: ‘I have to admit, I thought there could have been a chance I could have been going.
‘My head has been all over the place over the past couple of days.
‘I didn’t want to go but I thought I may be forced out because of the club’s problems.
‘Luckily, though, the club wanted to keep me.
‘All I have heard is they rejected bids from three or four different clubs.
‘Ipswich were one of them. There were other clubs, but it doesn’t matter who they are.
‘People already know I wanted to stay and be part of hopefully a good future for the club. I didn’t want to leave.
‘I currently live in Eastleigh and just bought a new home to move into with my fiancée, Charlotte. All my family are from here.
‘The manager made it very clear he didn’t want to let me go and I was keen to stay.
‘I knew it might not have come down to my decision with the club needing funds.
‘Thankfully, I’m still here, though, which is just what I wanted.’
After missing the first three matches through suspension, Pearce, who signed from Bournemouth last summer, has established himself as a first-team regular.
He has since started the past 26 matches, stepping up from League One with ease.
His performances have won him the hearts of the Fratton faithful and established him as a strong contender for Pompey’s player of the season.
News of Pearce staying has unsurprisingly been warmly received by supporters.
And he admitted he had been touched by their response.
Pearce added: ‘There were quite a few messages on Twitter to me from fans who didn’t want me to go.
‘That was really nice and I really appreciate that.
‘I didn’t want to go and in the gaffer, we have a manager who I believe in what he is trying to do with the club.
‘At the moment, his hands are tied but I am still excited about the future.’