Pompey have been thwarted in a bid to sign Therry Racon ahead of tomorrow’s visit of fellow strugglers Colchester.
Yesterday was unusually quiet at Fratton Park on deadline day, with no arrivals or exits.
Yet Guy Whittingham was hoping to make progress on a free transfer move for Millwall winger Racon.
The 28-year-old was in negotiations with the south London club to have his contract cancelled by mutual consent, thereby opening the door for a switch to Pompey.
However, those talks failed last night and instead he remains at The Den.
Football Association rules state a player must have departed from his club by January 31 to be considered a free agent, something Racon has failed to do.
It means he will now not be able to sign as a free transfer – and will not be joining Pompey in time for Colchester’s visit.
Along with Racon, Whittingham is also targeting a powerful centre forward who would be a free agent.
That would allow the Blues to recruit without the need to wait for the emergency loan window to open on February 7.
Regardless, Whittingham will not be adding to his current 17-man squad ahead of tomorrow.
Whittingham said: ‘Neither of the two players we want are on loan so we can sign them any time.
‘It’s permanent players we need. We’ve got 13 on our books and you can’t have seven loans so that is what we are trying to concentrate on first and foremost.
‘I think we need someone to create a bit in the wide areas to give us an option. We have got nobody for us who can play in that position.
‘Somebody who can play on the left or right of midfield and can be an out-and-out winger, just to give us an option.
‘I also think we are missing a big target man and that is something we’ve been trying to address for a few weeks. It’s just getting the right one.
‘Paul Benson was ideal, we kept on thinking we might be able to do something but the opportunity was never really there.
‘We just want to make sure we get the right people in.
‘People are trying to plan for next season so, with the guys coming in, we want to either have a good look at them for next season or are ready for next season straight away.’
Jed Wallace and Ashley Harris were used in wide positions against Notts County on Tuesday night.
Yet Harris is regarded as more effective as a forward, while Wallace prefers a central-midfield role.
In terms of strikers, Whittingham has just James Keene and David Connolly to choose from.
Earlier this month Benson was recalled by Swindon and has since gone on loan to Cheltenham.