And that would signal the departures of two from Gavin Bazunu, Mahlon Romeo, George Hirst, Miguel Azeez and Gassan Ahadme.
Cowley will not extend the current five slots allocated to loan players, raising question marks over the presence of some already at Fratton Park.
Pompey’s boss is braced for the possibility of a parent club activating their call-back clause at the midway point of their player’s season-long stay.
In addition, he acknowledges loan arrangements can potentially be cancelled by the Blues themselves should they feel it is not working out.
And that could signal a significant shift among the Blues’ current loan ranks as part of his hunt for a total of four fresh squad additions next month.
The Blues head coach told The News: ‘I would anticipate that if we can bring in the four we’d like to improve the squad, two of those would be loans.
‘That’s what I anticipate, but time will tell.
‘I certainly wouldn’t pay for six loans in total, financially it just wouldn’t be viable or sensible.
‘We can get some really good value from the loans and, in an ideal world, somewhere down the line, we want to be in a position where we are not taking loans.
‘We’d be developing our own players rather than developing someone else’s, but we’re quite a long way from that.
‘Looking at January, we are open-minded on our loans, as ever, and have contingencies for every eventuality.
‘You have to remember loans are not all on your terms because they are somebody else’s player.
‘With most loans – not all – there is a call back which is part of the agreement. So you always have to prepare for every eventuality.
‘Also, sometimes there is an opportunity in that agreement for us to send a player back if it’s not quite working for us or for the player.
‘The idea of a loan is for the player to play. He comes to your club to develop and to get suitable game time.
‘If that's not happening, then there’s always a chance the player goes back, which will then free an opportunity for us to bring someone else in.’
Gassan Ahadme’s Pompey stay has proven most disappointing out of the five loanees, featuring just three times in the last 12 matches.
Certainly he would be the most likely to depart next month, returning to parent club Norwich.
Regardless of who may leave Fratton Park, Cowley has made it clear he is unwilling to recruit a sixth loanee when only five are permitted in match-day squads.
He added: ‘Sometimes clubs give you a free loan that can make up your squad, yet understand they won’t always be involved and just be the depth that you need.
‘Ideally, you take five loans and they’d be top loans playing every week, then everybody wins.
‘We wouldn’t do it if we had to pay for that sixth loan. It wouldn't make sense.’
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
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