CHERRIES have made Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke their first signing of the January transfer window.

The Dorset club agreed a fee understood to be around £17.5million with the Reds, with add-ons potentially increasing the sum higher.

Solanke came close to joining Crystal Palace on loan this week but the Eagles pulled out due to concerns over the fitness of the 21-year-old.

The Reading-born ace, sidelined with a muscle injury but near to a return, has penned a long-term contract at Cherries.

Brighton and Huddersfield Town were also interested in securing his services.

Speaking to afcbTV, Solanke said: “The club is going somewhere. Over the past few years they have been really good in the Premier League and have had some good positional finishes as well.

“I think it’s a good club to be at, especially for someone of my age.

“I spoke with the manager this morning. He is a really nice guy. From playing and watching the Premier League, I know the sort of manager he is.

“I am really looking forward to working with him and seeing what he’s about.

“My main target is to score goals and, hopefully, I can get a few and help the team get wins.“

Cherries boss Eddie Howe said: “Dominic is technically gifted, very athletic and has the physical profile that will give us something different in our frontline.

“He has done very well for England at various age groups, has a huge amount of potential and I’m really excited about working with him.”

Solanke scored once in 27 appearances for Liverpool having joined following the expiry of his Chelsea contract in 2017.

That same summer, the youngster was part of the Under-20 World Cup side – skippered by Lewis Cook – which triumphed in South Korea.

Solanke scored the winner in the 1-0 victory over Venezuela in the final and was awarded the Golden Ball for best player of the tournament.

He made his England senior debut against Brazil in November 2017, coming on as a substitute in a 0-0 draw.

Cherries chief executive Neill Blake said: “I am delighted we have been able to secure the signing of one of the country’s best young strikers.

“Dominic is a fantastic talent who has a huge future and he will provide us with great competition in the final third.

“This signing is another statement of the club’s intention to develop young players while building a squad capable of competing with the best in the Premier League.”