Portsmouth are hopeful they can resolve the contractual issues surrounding Michael Brown and Richard Hughes without breaking the club's wage structure.
At the moment both midfielders can make only one more appearance for cash-strapped Pompey without triggering a clause which entitles the duo to new deals the south-coast side would be unable to afford.
However, Pompey chief executive David Lampitt told the News: "There is no prospect of us allowing those contract clauses to trigger - we have been quite clear about that with the players as well. We have got to stand our ground to protect the interests of the club.
"We will keep trying to reach a sensible middle ground. So far that has not been reached but we may yet reach it and discussions are ongoing. We will keep trying to do that and we will keep trying to resolve it.
"It's not really about playing hardball. But it's my job to make sure that the club is being run on a viable basis and that sometimes involves making some tough calls. It's just a legacy of just one of a number of problems that we've inherited and it's my job to iron them out as best as we can.
He added: "I have absolutely no complaints whatsoever about the negotiations with the players and their representatives - they have been done in the right way and they have every right to protect their own interests. They could just stay and pick up their pay packet without playing but I don't think they would want to do that. There are a number of outcomes that could yet happen and we hope to resolve it."