CHERRIES have completed the signing of highly-rated defender Chris Mepham.

The 21-year-old this evening put the finishing touches on his transfer from Brentford.

The Wales international signed a long-term contract at Vitality Stadium and arrives for an undisclosed fee, believed to be £12million.

He told the club website: "It’s taken a while to get my signature on the dotted line but it’s been worth the wait.

"There’s so much to like about this club, not least the manager. Eddie Howe is a fantastic manager and what he’s done here is remarkable, so to be working under him every day is a really exciting prospect.

"I’m still young and have lots to learn and develop on my game but I can’t wait to get started, to meet everyone and to get out on the training pitch."

Mepham had been a regular at the heart of the Bees' defence this campaign, making 26 appearances for the Championship side.

The Wales international made his first-team debut for Brentford in the 2016-17 campaign before cementing a position in the starting XI last season.

Sky Sports claimed Cherries had failed with £5.5m and £10m bids for the centre-back in the past two transfer windows.

Mepham had also reportedly attracted interest from Southampton.

Cherries boss Eddie Howe added: “Chris is a talented, young defender who has been on our radar for some time, so I am delighted he is finally our player.

"He has shown a huge amount of potential in his time at Brentford and while playing for Wales, and we believe this is the perfect environment to continue his development.

"Chris is a good defender and comfortable on the ball, and we believe he will be a great addition to the squad here."