Last Updated: Wed, 11 Dec 2013 14:02
Saints target Diego has denied he will return to old club Atletico Madrid in January, meaning a summer switch to St Mary's is possible.
The 28-year-old is currently with German side Wolfsburg but has been linked with a permanent transfer to Southampton as boss Mauricio Pochettino looks for more top-quality talent to add to his squad.
He spent a season on loan at Atletico in 2011/12 and there had been suggestions he could return there in the January transfer window, but the former Juventus and Porto midfielder instead says he plans to see out the final season on his Wolfsburg contract and will assess his options in the summer.
He told Spanish radio station Cadena Cope: "I know that [Atletico Madrid coach Diego] Simeone has great esteem and affection towards me. He is a great coach and I wish him well to win any major trophy this season.
"However, it is impossible for me to return to Atletico in January. There have been no contacts and I have a contract to fulfil. In the future, however, everything is possible."
Saints remain favourites to land Diego but there are several other sides throughout Europe keeping an eye on his situation and there will be plenty of interest in the experienced player who will be available on a free if he does stay at Wolfsburg to see out his current deal.
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