Across the top of the screen, the lettering flashed in red: "EXCLUSIVE" and the set fell quiet as the presenter gravely looked at the camera. The dramatic music began, a slow, deep roll, building to the moment. This was going to be big. "Where was Mourinho this morning?" asked the presenter of Punto Pelota, Josep Pedrerol. "This is important." And then he began. "12 o'clock, this morning, Mourinho with a bald man in …" A staged pause and then the answer:
There was a giggle. "It might sound like a laugh but it's not," Pedrerol noted. On they went and so did that low roll in the background, building slowly: a map of Ikea in Alcorcûn, south-west of Madrid, a huge arrow. The programme had "privileged information"; this was "important news". There were photos too, although not of great quality, sent in by viewers or posted on Twitter. Mourinho? In Ikea? "And," added Pedrerol gravely, "what was he buying?"
"Boxes and masking tape!"
In total, the programme said, Madrid's coach spent €200 on boxes and packaging. It could only mean one thing: he was moving out. That return to Chelsea had drawn even closer. One of the guests on the show was convinced: "If you want to do a move properly, those old cardboard boxes aren't any good – you have to get them from Ikea. Their boxes have a good name," Alfredo Duro said, as the presenter noted: "Well said!"
Duro then added: "Not that I want to give them free publicity, of course."
Mourinho has been in Ikea adverts, incidentally. But that certainly wasn't for free. And nor will his arrival at Chelsea be.