Pompey’s hopes of recruiting Liverpool’s Herbie Kane are fading.
The Blues have been monitoring the highly-regarded midfielder, with Sunderland and Coventry also showing interest.
Following the success of a season-long loan at Doncaster last season, Liverpool had once again made the 20-year-old available, alterting League One clubs.
However, it is understood Kane has this week been instructed to remain at Anfield to feature in their Carabao Cup campaign.
It represents a change of heart from boss Jurgen Klopp, influenced by his desire for the Reds’ first-team squad to focus on the Premier League and Champions League.
Liverpool are scheduled to enter the Carabao Cup at the third-round stage next month, offering Kane the opportunity for a first-team debut.
Yet it signifies a blow to Pompey and other pursuing clubs, who had hoped to recruit him before the September 2 transfer deadline.
It is believed Kane remains eager for a loan spell to aid his development – and has not given up being allowed time another stint away from Anfield.
He made 49 appearances for Doncaster last term, scoring seven times, during an impressive loan stay.
Although seen at Doncaster’s match against Fleetwood last weekend, it is understood Kane was present to watch his former team-mates rather than closing in on a Keepmoat Stadium return.
Previously there had been talk of a loan to Championship clubs, with Hull and Charlton linked.
However, once that transfer window shut without a move being secured, focus switched to League One clubs, preferably those challenging at the top end of the table.