Pompey have made moves to keep both Paul Robinson and Marcus Bean as Andy Awford continues his squad shake-up.
The Blues are some way down the line with negotiations over a permanent move for Millwall centre-back Robinson, who has made his mark this season.
And Awford has also indicated he is keen to extend the stay of combative Colchester midfielder Bean, who has impressed since arriving in November.
Following the recent exits of Matt Fish, Alex Wynter, Lee Holmes and Miles Storey – Pompey’s other loan arrivals this term – it gives the manager some room to freshen up the squad.
Awford said: ‘We’ve decided that four loan players will leave and we are in negotiations to keep Paul Robinson and Marcus Bean. To get some of our targets in, we have to shuffle the pack.
‘With those four going back, it’s given us a bit more room in the budget to get in a few different bodies.
‘I couldn’t keep everyone because we would be over budget and we’d have too many on the training pitch.’
Awford revealed he is optimistic about the prospect of enticing Robinson, 32, to remain at Fratton Park.
Meanwhile, negotiations are at an early stage with Colchester for Bean.
‘We are trying to make Robinson into a permanent move,’ said the Blues boss.
‘We are still in negotiations with Paul and Millwall.
‘I’m optimistic about it. We would love to make it permanent if we can do that.
‘He has been excellent since he arrived.
‘The deal with Marcus is in the early stages.
‘I had a conversation with him on Wednesday but we would like to keep him, whether that is a permanent deal or a loan extension.
‘We will have to see how that pans out.’
Awford admitted it was a tough decision to send Storey back to Swindon – the latest of the loanees to depart – but denied he has a replacement lined up.
‘Miles did okay for us but I’ve had a look at it and I think we need something different,’ said Awford.
‘We need a bit more experience in the forward areas.
‘We’ve made that decision, and to do that I needed to shuffle the pack. It was a tough decision.
‘But if you are going to a club on loan, you’ve got to play.
‘There is no point in him being here if he is only going to play a few games here and there.
‘He needs to be a regular in the side and he wasn’t.
‘We’ve got targets, although I’m not going to name them.
‘We know who we want and we have a list that we will work our way through.
‘There are a number of players that we’re interested in. But no deal has been done yet.
‘We know where we want to go and we have made enquiries. I expect things to be firmed up early next week.’