Yet the head coach is confident there will be the January departures required to enable him to pursue 3-4 new faces to Fratton Park in the transfer window.
The Blues are operating on a one out, one in policy as he strives to bolster his squad next month.
Cowley is keen to offload a number of players ahead of their contracts expiring next summer.
These include last season’s top scorer John Marquis, while the ongoing presences of Ellis Harrison, Paul Downing and Callum Johnson are also under scrutiny.
Meanwhile, question marks remain over the loan presence of Gassan Ahadme at the halfway point of his season-long arrangement with Norwich.
Regardless, Fratton Park exits must firstly be secured in order to strengthen ninth-placed Pompey.
Cowley told The News: ‘No, I don’t think anybody is close to leaving.
‘And if they were, we would probably keep it in-house out of respect.
‘Our transfer business does hinge on one out before getting one in – and our aim is to try to come out of this transfer window in a better place than when we went in.
‘To do that we would like a bit more balance to our squad and would certainly like to add 3-4 players that helps us work towards our game idea and the way we want to play, with that fast, attacking high-energy football.
‘We anticipate there will be departures in January.
‘We have a number of players out of contract this summer and, if we are in a position in January where we don’t think we are going to offer them new contracts, then I will have that honest conversation with them.
‘Whenever you are in that position, you need to have that difficult conversation as quickly as you can. It benefits all parties, ultimately.
‘Then if those players have opportunities to move elsewhere, sometimes you can just accelerate that process and help everybody involved.
‘Those talks haven’t yet taken place, though. At the moment we have a very small squad and are navigating through a really turbulent time where we’ve had a number of issues with Covid.
‘I don’t think it would be right for the players or right for the team to have had those conversations at this point, particularly when no-one can do anything because we are still in December.
‘Once we get into January and the transfer window opens, if and when the right time becomes available, then we’ll have those conversations.’
Topping Cowley’s wanted list when the window opens on Saturday is a centre-forward and a central defender.
He remains hopeful of recruiting in those positions as he targets up to four fresh signings during next month’s transfer window.
Pompey’s boss added: ‘Anything is possible and we are certainly working incredibly hard to be in a position to do that.
‘But, ultimately, we are respectful that we are one part – and in any transfer there’s always three different parties.
‘Our intent is 3-4 players, that’s what we would like to achieve.
‘Whether we would be able to achieve our ambitions or not, only time will tell.’
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
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