Less than 24 hours after conceding the 2007-08 Premier League crown to Manchester United, runners-up Chelsea have fired the first Summertime salvo in the battle for next’s seasons title report the Guardian’s Barry Glendenning and Sean Ingle :

Chelsea didn’t wait long to stick it to the champions, and this morning beat them in the race to pay Porto £16.2m for the scrawl of Portugal full-back Jose Bosingwa (above), the man Sir Alex Ferguson had earmarked as Che Neville’s heir presumptive. “The player is now in England to discuss personal terms and undergo a medical,” trumpeted a Chelsea statement, written before he put pen to paper. “More specifically, he’s in London, not Manchester, so yaboo sucks to you Fergie,” it continued, albeit in the version the Fiver amended with green pen in a bid to slip it past our meddlesome lawyers.

If Bosingwa’s medical was conducted by Chelsea’s resident physicians England’s Brave John Terry and Didier Drogba, it’s small wonder he came through with flying colours. Both players have passed themselves fit for Wednesday week’s Big Cup final, even though they must remain major doubts for Moscow. “Three or four days’ rest and I should be OK,” declared Terry, whose arm fell off yesterday. “Of course I’ll be OK for the final,” added Drogba, whose knacked knee remains entombed in ice.

Meanwhile back at the JJB Stadium, Ferguson spoke of how United would be “bouncing into [Big Cup] final now” before dismissing any talk that it might be time for him to retire. “That wife of mine just bullies me, so she’d throw me out of the door at seven o’clock in the morning! So that’s a definite no,” he och-ayed. “Oh no, I dare not risk the wrath of that lass from the Gorbals,” he continued, perplexing those of us who thought Carlos Queiroz hailed from Nampula in Mozambique.