He was out of contract at the start of the year - as a consequence to the Russian Premier League season formerly running from January to January - and both Premier League sides were said to be looking into this bargain deal.
This was in direct contrast to what was being reported in Italy, where a protracted deal with AC Milan had been finalised in the eyes of their media.
Indeed he did end up at Milan and he spoke warmly about his future in Italy:
“I’m happy to be here and I’m very excited. I’m ready to play…I think I can give a lot, something more to the team. I’ve been waiting here for this for a long time. It’s a dream come true, AC Milan has always been a legendary club for me, I followed them as a child.”
It was a deal the club greeted warmly. With Milan dangerously close to the relegation places - the arrival of Honda was a massive boost.
But today, a little over a month after he signed for the club - there are already rumours he could be on his way in the summer.
It is because since he was signed, the club have changed managers.
Clarence Seedorf has taken over from the much-maligned Massimiliano Allegri at the San Siro - and the Rossoneri now line up in a different formation which requires just the one attacking midfielder.
With Kaka the first choice, Honda finds himself looking at being a bench player in the near future.
He is out of action this weekend - suffering with a stomach bug - but as he is also cup-tied for the Champions League, he seems to be looking at a second half of the season with little playing time.
That is said to not sit well with the player - and reports in Italy suggest his stay in Milan may not be long-term.
image: © tpower1978