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Diego open to Arsenal move, is the feeling reciprocal?


Saint-Etienne’s Fabien Lemoine (L) vies with Wolfsburg’s Diego Ribas da Cunha during their match at the Valais Cup football tournament on July 9, 2013 in Sion. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

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Small. Quick. Skilled. Tricky.

If you were to take those attributes and name one Premier League club it would be Arsenal.

Perhaps Swansea. But more likely the Gunners.

If you were to take those attributes and name one player in the Bundesliga who will be out of contract this summer it would be Diego.

Funny how that works.

On Tuesday, the Wolfsburg playmaker did the addition and told The Sun that yeah, come to think of it, the Emirates would be the ideal locale for the next stop of the Diego train.

Since arriving in Europe in 2004, he’s already had successful spins in Portgual (with Porto), Germany (Werder Bremen and Wolfsburg), Italy (Juventus) and Spain (Atletico Madrid).

So ticking England off the list next feels right to the Brazilian renowned for pinpoint passes, back-heels and overhead kicks.

“I know there is interest from Premier League clubs,” Diego said. “I have heard Arsenal is one of them. It would be the ideal destination for me because their style suits my characteristics perfectly. Of course I would say ‘yes’ to Arsenal.”

Diego went on to note that since "[p]laying in England is a very attractive option at the peak of my career,” Southampton is another option that could work.

While Diego’s referral to the “peak of [his] career” most likely refers to his age (28) and not his stats (1 goal, 2 assists in 12 Bundesliga matches), it remains to be seen where he would fit in to the Gunners midfield.

As is the attacking three is a crowded lot with Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky forming a brilliant partnership. While Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere are both preferred operators in the holding role, Wenger also utilizes them in the attack when Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta are healthy.

Then there is the recent return from injury of Theo Walcott and the eventual returns of Lukas Podolski and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. In other words, while Wenger would likely not be opposed to taking Diego at a cut-rate price, he hardly has room for the Brazilian trickster.

The Inn at Southampton is a bit tight as well. With the likes of Adam Lallana, Jay Rodriguez and James Ward-Prowse operating at a high level, potential impact players like Gaston Ramirez can’t even get a game.

But Mauricio Pochettino, like Wenger, probably wouldn’t be opposed to acquiring Diego’s services, assuming the price is right. Could be a sneaky good pickup for the Saints as well if they are to continue their impressive run down the difficult stretches of late winter and early spring.