Reading have completed the signing of Greg Halford from Colchester United.
The Royals have held off stern competition from Premiership rivals such as Sheffield United, Middlesbrough and Charlton Athletic to land the highly-rated full back.
Halford, who can also operate in midfield, has penned a three-year-and-a-half year contract.
"I am extremely pleased with this signing," said director of football Nick Hammond. "We have beaten off competition from a number of clubs to bring Greg to Reading.
"He is an outstanding talent and a typical 'Reading' signing - young, hungry and with the ability to become an even better player than he already is.
"With the help of our coaching staff, we hope that Greg can realise his considerable potential during his time at Reading."