Aruna Dindane appears to have made his last outing for Portsmouth due to a clause in his loan contract.
Striker Dindane, who has netted seven goals in 20 appearances for Pompey this season, including a hat-trick in their 4-0 victory against Wigan in October, was omitted from the matchday squad that saw off Hull City 3-2 on Saturday.
It was rumoured the 29-year-old Ivory Coast player had angrily departed the club after he was not selected for the Fratton Park clash.
However, Pompey boss Avram Grant has explained the club would have to sign Dindane on a permanent deal and pay £4million to his parent club Lens if the striker runs out for the Blues one more time.
"Aruna didn't play because there is a clause in the contract," Grant told Portsmouth Today.
"I don't know how many games it is, but if he plays one more game, we have to pay around 4m to his team.
"At the moment, Portsmouth cannot pay even 4.
"The season is finished from the target point of view, so for him, I think it will be better to play for his club. If they will not let him do it, I will be very surprised."
Grant, who was notified of the clause the day before the match, has indicated the player's agent is trying to reach a new deal that will allow Dindane to remain at Pompey until the end of the season.
"His agent is trying to deal with our club and their club," said Grant.
"But I think we have to do what's good for the boy now rather than the team."
He added: "This is just one more thing to deal with. I like problems on the pitch and dealing with them in the team, but I don't like this kind of thing."