Aruna Dindane is a step closer to completing a permanent move to Fratton Park after parent club Lens admitted they now consider him a Portsmouth player.
There were fears that the on-loan Dindane would have to return to France with Lens threatening to bring the striker back if Portsmouth did not pay an estimated £3.5million they still owed.
However, a deal now appears to have been reached with Lens announcing that "the former Sang et Or striker has signed permanently for Portsmouth".
Lens president Gervais Martel told a press conference: "English football is currently in big trouble. There have been many requests for a loan. But there was no reason to loan him."
He added: "The loan at Portsmouth becomes a permanent transfer. The situation is complicated but I think there will be some glimmers of hope in the coming hours.
"Aruna has officially made his number of games, the transfer fee has to begin to be paid in this beginning of February.
"But a club that recruits two players at the last minute is a club that will bounce back."
Dindane joined Pompey on loan at the beginning of the season and the Ivory Coast international has scored five goals in 15 games.
Hong Kong-based businessman Balram Chainrai took control of Portsmouth yesterday, becoming the club's fourth owner this season.
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