Pompey’s hopes of capturing Mo Eisa have received a setback after Sunderland entered the bidding war.
And, in turn, failure to land the Cheltenham striker could scupper Conor Chaplin’s switch away from Fratton Park.
Kenny Jackett has made it clear the Blues would cash in on the Worthing youngster only if a replacement can swiftly be recruited.
In this case, the player identified by Pompey is Eisa, last season’s 25-goal striker who has also attracted interest from Peterborough.
Jackett last week had two bids for the 24-year-old rejected by the League Two club, who have slapped a £1.5m price tag on their prized asset.
Now it has been reported Sunderland have entered the bidding, tabling a seven-figure offer.
The Black Cats certainly have the financial clout to beat the Blues to Eisa, while a number of Championship clubs are still supposedly monitoring the situation.
In the meantime, Chaplin’s switch to Coventry is in the balance while Pompey pursue a goal-scoring replacement.
Barnsley and Bristol Rovers are also in the hunt for the 21-year-old, yet the Sky Blues remain in pole position – but only if Jackett still intends to sell.
Pompey are adamant they won’t allow Chaplin to depart unless they can identify a player of better calibre to sign.
There remain other targets should the ongoing interest in Eisa be thwarted.
But if Pompey are unsuccessful, then Chaplin must remain at Fratton Park, potentially until his contract runs out next summer.