The 28-year-old’s career has only really ever taken off in Germany - with his time in Portugal, Italy and Spain slightly more disappointing. So it seemed he was looking at a change of scenery, he even had two teams in mind.
"I know there is interest from Premier League clubs. I have heard Arsenal is one of them. It would be the ideal destination for me because their style suits my characteristics. Of course I would say yes to Arsenal. Southampton have great organisation and discipline and big talents like Adam Lallana. But again, there is nothing concrete."
Southampton went on to make it clear that they were not so keen on the player - who once cost Juventus a whopping €27 million to pry him away from Werder Bremen in 2009 - and in the end he went to Spain with Atletico Madrid, with whom he has previously enjoyed a loan spell.
But that deal was only a six month agreement and he is out of contract in the summer, with it confirmed in Spain last week that Diego Simeone was not keen on keeping hold of the player, despite his reasonably good performances.
With that in mind Arsenal, who already have one of his old friends in Mesut Ozil, are said to be keen once again on a signature.
Diego was said to want a move back to former club Santos, but they simply cannot afford him so it would appear that Arsenal have a clear track to snap him up in the summer.
Accept that is, if you believe what is coming out of Turkey right now. Because they feel Diego is on the brink of becoming a Besiktas player next season.
Istanbul's third club are said to have made contact with him, although reports suggest they are now growing impatient with his lack of commitment to a future in Turkey.
Besiktas manager Slaven Bilic is said to have stated on the issue:
"Official signing not done. But we are very close to being finished."
Whether Arsenal need Diego is up for debate, but it looks like Besiktas might have made that decision for them.