Portsmouth have confirmed that David James is on the verge of leaving the club after they withdrew a fresh contract offer to keep him at Fratton Park.
England's veteran World Cup goalkeeper looks set to move to Scottish Premier League giants Celtic and chief executive David Lampitt and manager Steve Cotterill have reluctantly decided against offering him new terms.
"It was a tricky situation. Steve Cotterill and I discussed it at length," Lampitt told The Portsmouth News.
"From my point of view, we did our absolute best in trying to keep him. I would have loved for him to stay at the club.
"We had various meetings with him and the process went on for quite a long time. The difficulty for us is that we have got to resolve our goalkeeping situation.
"It got to a point where we needed to have some certainty with only three weeks to go until the new season and we need to look at other options.
"We kept the offer open for as long as we reasonably could to try to give us the best opportunity of retaining him. Unfortunately, that hasn't happened."