Online reports last month suggested the Blues could swoop for the creative midfielder following Swindon's relegation.
Payne’s a player who Cowley’s well aware of, having signed him when in charge of Lincoln ahead of the 2018-19 season.
The ex-Blackburn man featured in every single minute of the opening six games as the Imps sat second in the League One table before Cowley made a shock exit to Championship Huddersfield.
Payne, who recorded four goals and six assists this term, revealed there's a clause in his County Ground contract that will allow him to depart the Robins after their immediate drop back to League Two.
And he’s refused to rule out moving on during the summer transfer window.
As per the Swindon Advertiser, Payne said after being named player of the season by the Official Supporters’ Club at its virtual awards ceremony: ‘At the moment, my situation is unknown – I don’t know where my future lies.
‘As far as I’m aware, I have still got another year’s contract with Swindon. But because we’ve been relegated, there is a clause where I can leave.
‘At the moment, I really don’t know what’s going to happen and I haven’t spoken to my agent.
‘I am really gutted with how things have gone because I was desperate to come to a club and settle.
‘I’ve been on the move quite a lot over the last few years, so I really wanted to come to a club and stay for a few years.
‘I’ve got a house in Swindon – I live here now with my girlfriend and everything is settled, so my life off the pitch is really good there.
‘I’ve been to play in front of a packed out County Ground as an away player, and it’s a really good atmosphere so I’m gutted I haven’t had the chance to do that.
‘But I don’t know what the future holds. If I am there next season then I’ll be really excited to try and help the club get promoted, and if I’m not it will be a massive shame.’
Ahead of Pompey’s 3-1 loss at Swindon in April, Cowley admitted he’s still in regular contact with Payne.
The Blues head coach said: ‘Jack is a great lad with great energy, always smiling and I had to pull him off the training pitch. He's only little so can train every single minute of every day. He was a dream to Nicky and I.
‘He's a top boy, a top player with a great attitude and enthusiasm. He's got to be played in the right way and the right team to get the best of out him. You've got to believe in him.’