CHERRIES midfielder Gavin Kilkenny is set to agree a new long-term deal with the Dorset club, the Daily Echo understands.

The Republic of Ireland under-21 international, 19, has highly impressed at Vitality Stadium this campaign having burst on the scene with the first team in pre-season.

Kilkenny, who joined Cherries as a 16-year-old in August 2016, featured for Eddie Howe’s men in friendlies against Girona and Brentford, as well as scoring and being named man-of-the-match against Lyon.

Beaumont-raised Kilkenny started both of Cherries’ Carabao Cup fixtures in the first-team this campaign, as well as three Premier League Cup group games for Shaun Cooper’s under-21s.

He was named in a top-flight squad for the first time during last month’s 3-2 defeat at Tottenham.

Asked earlier this season what it was like to work with the Premier League squad, the teenager said: “If you are with them every day you are only going to improve and you can kind of see that sometimes.

“It’s only good, it’s all positive steps in the right direction.”