Middlesbrough have rejected a new player plus cash bid from Portsmouth for Gary O'Neil, Sky Sports News understands.
Pompey have been desperate to take O'Neil back to the South Coast, and equally the player has made his feelings known to Boro's hierarchy that he is unsettled on Teesside.
However, the North East club are entrenched in the relegation zone and manager Gareth Southgate insists he does not want anyone to leave.
Sky Sports News has now learnt that Portsmouth went back to Boro with a cash plus player bid for O'Neil.
It is not known who the player is, although Boro have had an interest in the likes of Sean Davis and Nadir Belhadj in the past, but either way the North East club have rejected such an approach.
Portsmouth may not be too disheartened to lose out on O'Neil, as in the past few weeks they have tied up deals for Theofanis Gekas, Angelos Basinas, Pele, Hayden Mullins and Jermaine Pennant.
Boro, meanwhile, have continued their pursuit for Reading's James Harper but the two clubs are finding the sell-on clause - due to his former club Arsenal - too difficult to overcome.