Pompey are battling to prevent Patrick Agyemang returning to Stevenage.
But they have already lost Adam Reed, who has returned to Sunderland.
Guy Whittingham had lined up Agyemang for another month when his existing deal expires today.
Yet Stevenage chairman Phil Wallace has now blocked the move in a wrangle over money.
The Blues’ League One rivals are asking for a loan fee of around £10,000 for the striker following his recent impressive displays.
That is on top of Pompey’s contribution towards his wages.
It’s a figure the Blues cannot contemplate paying due to their on-going critical financial state.
Negotiations with Stevenage are continuing for a player who believes he has no future at the Lamex Stadium and desperately wants to remain on the south coast.
However, the concern is Pompey will have to admit defeat in attempts to retain the 32-year-old who has impressed during his loan.
The set-back comes in the same week when fellow striker James Keene left Fratton Park.
His two-month loan has now ended and he has returned to Swedish side Elfsborg.
In addition, David Connolly still hasn’t returned to full training after receiving a whack on the thigh against Crewe.
It was an injury which forced him off at half-time at the Alexandra Stadium, although he is expected to be available for Saturday.
John Akinde and Ashley Harris are the other forwards in Whittingham’s squad ahead of Bury’s visit.
Meanwhile, squad numbers have been further depleted by the departure of midfielder Reed.
The 21-year-old renewed his loan deal only last week – but has requested to go back to his parent club.
Reed was named as a substitute in the past three matches, coming off the bench in all of them.
However, his desire for regular football has seen him end his second month’s loan early.
He declined to turn out in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Fulham on Tuesday, a match Pompey lost 5-2.
Instead, he preferred to go back to Sunderland in the hope of finding another loan move ahead of the March 21 emergency loan deadline.
During his time at Pompey, Reed made 10 appearances – of which five came from the bench.
His energy, drive and relish for a tackle had caught the eye during his loan spell and Whittingham was keen to keep him until the season’s end.
The Hartlepool-born youngster has still to play a first-team match for the Black Cats having come through their ranks.
Before arriving at Pompey, he had also experienced loan stays at Brentford, Bradford and Leyton Orient.