Marko Futacs has been warned Pompey will not be increasing their contract offer.
The Hungarian’s existing deal expired yesterday – and he is unhappy with the new offer tabled.
Futacs has been offered reduced terms for the approaching season as the Blues seek to wrestle their wage bill under control.
The striker subsequently failed to meet Pompey’s deadline for a decision, although Trevor Birch has since revealed the 22-year-old’s agent has indicated he may yet agree to stay.
Despite Futacs being a target for Barnsley, Michael Appleton is adamant the Fratton Park terms on offer will not be improved.
And the Blues boss is hoping to hold talks with the striker and his agent in the next few days to clarify the situation.
He said: ‘I am not sure where we stand with Marko.
‘At the end of the day, the contract is there and I will have no problem with him coming back.
‘Even though it is reduced, in League One the offer is a very good one.
‘We cannot increase our offer. That won’t be happening.
‘So in that respect I am not sure we can do anything anyway.
‘But I know his agent very well and will be speaking to him about the situation.
‘The offer we made was a good one, a very good one – and we won’t be going any higher.’
Futacs was one of just two senior players from last season to be offered new deals.
The other was Kelvin Etuhu, who has since joined Barnsley on a 12-month contract.
Futacs has so far made 30 appearances for the Blues – more than half of them coming as a substitute – and has scored five goals.