Bondz N’Gala has left Pompey after not being offered a new deal.
But Andy Awford insists it may not be the end of the central defender’s Fratton Park career.
The 24-year-old wasn’t among those released when the Blues’ retained list was announced last month.
However, Pompey’s boss has subsequently told N’Gala there is no room in the squad for him to remain, with the club currently well-stocked in the central-defensive area.
Jack Whatmough, Ben Chorley, Sonny Bradley and Joe Devera will all be competing for two places next season, along with the versatile Adam Webster.
N’Gala departs having made 31 appearances and scoring three times, after arriving as a free agent under ex-boss Guy Whittingham in August of last year. Although, Awford has not ruled out a pre-season reunion should circumstances change.
‘I have been as honest as the day is long with Bondz and told him I cannot offer him anything at the moment,’ said Awford.
‘I just cannot carry five centre-halves.
‘As it stands, we have got more than enough players in that department capable of playing – and who will play for us next season.
‘Bondz was fine and understood that is how it is. But what I will say is never say never.
‘If Bondz can’t get himself fixed up at the start of pre-season and things change here then perhaps something could happen and he might be back.
‘At the moment, though, there is nothing we can do unfortunately.
‘If he gets fixed up this summer then good luck to the lad. I would have thought he will – he has done well for us.
‘We wish him every success.’
Bondz had initially joined Pompey on a month-by-month deal but in November that was extended to the end of the season.
It followed an excellent October when he scored three goals and was shortlisted for the Football League’s League Two player of the month.
He fell out of favour under Whittingham and then his managerial successor Richie Barker before re-emerging in the first team at the end of February.
The ex-West Ham trainee started 11 of the final 13 matches of the campaign, retaining his spot under then caretaker boss Awford.
However, he was an unused substitute in the final match of the season against Plymouth as Whatmough and Chorley were the preferred central-defensive pairing.
Awford praised popular N’Gala’s contribution.
He added: ‘Bondz is a top bloke. I have really enjoyed working with him.
‘What I will say is he did fantastically well for us last season in the games for me.
‘He played the majority and did really well.
‘He has not been a problem. He has been into work every day with a smile on his face and always wanted to work hard.’