Pompey have been dealt a blow after being told by West Brom that Joe Mattock will not be returning to the club on loan.
The West Brom left-back impressed at Fratton Park earlier this season and would have been allowed to rejoin the Blues despite Football League restrictions on players coming into the club.
The Baggies’ signing of Liam Ridgewell from Birmingham this afternoon cleared the way for Mattock to go back out on loan – but not to return to Pompey as expected.
Instead, the 21-year-old is set to join south-coast rivals Brighton on a temporary deal.
And West Brom boss Roy Hodgson admitted that the Blues’ financial problems stood in the way of a Fratton return.
He said: ‘We had Portsmouth initially in mind with Joe but the situation has changed for them regarding them being able to pay wages.
‘We wouldn’t want to send a player somewhere where he can’t get paid – that would be harsh.’
Hodgson’s comments seem to rule out a return for Mattock’s team-mate at The Hawthorns, George Thorne, who also enjoyed a loan spell at Pompey this season.