But then from nowhere, Chelsea swooped in to hijack the deal at the 11th hour.
The first talk of Chelsea’s interest surfaced on Tuesday; 48 hours later Pedro was out on the Cobham training pitch in a blue kit.
How did it happen?
It was all thanks to a simple personal phone call from Mourinho, the full dialogue of which the Chelsea boss revealed yesterday.
That chat, coupled with United’s dithering, gave Chelsea the upper hand, and with that Pedro flew out to London to sign for Chelsea.
‘It was a one-minute conversation.
I asked ”Is it true that you want to leave Barcelona?’ [Pedro:] ‘Yes, it’s true. I love it here. It’s my home, but it’s time for me to move.’
[Mourinho:] ‘Did you sign already for another club?’
[Pedro] ‘Almost, but not yet.’ [Mourinho] ‘Do you want to come here?’
[Pedro] ‘Yes, I want.’
“For me, it was one minute.
I told my people in the club, responsible for the practical side of the market, that he hadn’t signed for another club. Almost, but not yet. He told me he wants to come here, so it’s over to you.
I thought he’d never leave Barcelona.”