Pompey are not abandoning hope of tempting Jed Wallace to sign a new deal.
The club have long been braced for the 20-year-old’s summer exit, following unsuccessful contract talks during the first half of the campaign.
However, the Andy Awford factor has reinvigorated not only the Blues but also, apparently, the midfielder’s desire to remain at Fratton Park.
Wallace shares a close relationship with Pompey’s boss, stretching back to when Awford was overseeing him in the Academy, following his arrival from Lewes.
He finished the season as the Blues’ top scorer and also made more appearances than any other player.
But he remains one of the lowest earners on a contract which expires next month.
Now the Blues are ready to go again in an attempt to get Wallace to pledge his future.
Chairman Iain McInnes has revealed there are currently no bids on the table.
And he remains optimistic a new deal can still be brokered to retain the midfielder’s services.
‘I have not had a specific conversation with Jed over the contract,’ said McInnes.
‘But the last couple of times I have spoken with Andy Awford on the issue, I believe there have been more positives to come out of it.
‘At this moment in time I don’t think there are any firm bids on the table.
‘I would love to see him stay and I’m sure Andy would, too.
‘Providing Jed has a mindset to stay, that can only be good news for the football club.
‘The pair of them have a good relationship and that could help.
‘You hear players talking about their careers and who is their biggest influence – and I’d be very surprised if Jed’s wouldn’t be Awfs.
‘As far as I am concerned, we want players who want to stay, that’s the most important thing.
‘If Jed wants to stay, we know he has a good team ethic about his play and we would be absolutely delighted.’
Wallace has now made 71 career appearances for the Blues, scoring 13 times.
Since making his league debut on New Year’s Day 2013 at Swindon, he has only missed three matches – one of those through suspension.
After his debut in the Capital One Cup under Michael Appleton at the start of the 2012-13 season, Wallace has gone on to be a regular under Guy Whittingham, Richie Barker and now Awford.
And McInnes remains a fan of the youngster.
He added: ‘Can you imagine how many goals he would have had if half of his woodwork shots had gone in.
‘When people talk about fine dividing lines, you have to say it applies to Jed.
‘He should have had so many more goals to go with his undoubted talent.
‘Like the rest of the team, you can see he was enjoying his football under Andy.
‘There are a lot of players over the last few weeks who have shown their talent and it has been great to watch.’