Pompey face a possible wait before finalising a loan deal for Eoin Doyle.
The Preston striker is Paul Cook’s prime target in his ongoing pursuit to bolster his Blues attack.
The Championship side are willing to allow the 28-year-old to depart on loan for the remainder of the season.
However, boss Simon Grayson is keen to firstly identify a striking replacement ahead of Tuesday’s transfer deadline of 11pm.
Pompey are willing to pay a substantial contribution towards Doyle’s wages as they seek to boost their promotion hopes.
Bolton have reportedly been linked as an alternative and offer a higher standard of football considering they are presently third in League One.
But Cook is potentially Pompey’s trump card, having managed Doyle to great effect during their time together at Sligo and then Chesterfield.
The striker netted 13 goals as the Spireites claimed the League Two title under Cook in 2013-14.
The following campaign he struck 25 times in 33 appearances to earn a February 2015 switch to Cardiff.
However, his time in Wales disappointed – granted just five Championship starts before switching to Preston last summer.
Grayson moved for Doyle following a season-long loan spell which produced four goals.
Although, he has made only two appearances since his December 2 sending off, following an on-field scrap with team-mate Jermaine Beckford.
Among Pompey’s current striking pool, Curtis Main is injured, Jamal Lowe is not considered an out-and-out centre forward, while Nicke Kabamba is for the future.
The Insider view n Page 46