Kenny Jackett has dismissed suggestions Pompey were ever in ‘pole position’ for Mo Eisa.
And this evening it has emerged the Cheltenham target could instead be heading to Bristol City.
The long-running saga appears to have reached a conclusion, with the Blues missing out on the in-demand striker.
Pompey had yesterday begun to lose belief in successfully reaching a deal for Eisa.
Those fears appear to have been well founded, with the Robins’ striker now linked with Championship side City.
The Blues today completed a 2-0 friendly victory over Swindon, with Oli Hawkins and Jamal Lowe the scorers.
And speaking just before the Eisa news came to light, Jackett revealed Pompey had not been close in securing the £1m-plus rated player.
He said: ‘There’s obviously a lot of speculation, which we do understand, but we are not and haven’t actually been close to any permanent deals.
‘That is whether that be in or out.
‘I read the speculation as well, talking about ‘Portsmouth favorites’, ‘Portsmouth in pole position’, we are not in that position.
‘Are we and have we been trying? Of course we have, yes.
‘But are we close and are we in pole position? No.’