Portsmouth remain hopeful that they will keep hold of on-loan Sheffield United striker Marc McNulty beyond January 3, when the current deal runs out.
Blades boss Nigel Adkins had warned last week that McNulty could be back at Bramall Lane in the New Year, with the situation to be "reviewed in January."
Portsmouth, however, say that there is a 'gentleman's agreement' in place for the Scottish striker to extend his stay at Fratton Park until the end of the campaign and assistant boss Leam Richardson said in The News that the club hope that will hold firm.
McNulty has scored four goals since making the move to the south coast in November and played in Pompey's FA Cup second round win over Accrington on Saturday, rendering him unavailable for the Blades in that competition should he return to Sheffield next month.
"You keep your fingers crossed he will stay. We certainly hope that would be the case," said Richardson. "We had an agreement with them that we’d keep him for the season.
"He wants to play football and he’s playing here. That’s good for everybody, and it’s good for Sheffield United because the kid is growing in stature.
"He’s gaining experience so we will have to see how that goes. You’d hope so (being allowed to play in the FA Cup is a sign he will stay for the season). When the move first came around the understanding was we’ve got him for a season. There’s a gentleman’s agreement. He’s signed until January but is ready to sign again. Fingers crossed that’s the case."
McNulty has been a huge hit at Portsmouth in his short time there, with Richardson praising the 23 year old's performances.
"He’s getting better and we’ve seen now what the kid is about," Richardson told The News. "His technique and the technical side of his game is very good indeed.
"Hopefully, we can bring him on now, because he’s only a young lad. He’s still learning and all the time he’s doing that it’s better for us
"He’s certainly got a lot of attributes. His pace is deceptive. One of his big strengths is out of possession – his thought process before he gets on the ball. His runs are very good.
"We’ve seen the unselfish side of his game – when he squared it to Adam McGurk on Saturday. He’s a clever player out of possession and has vision."