Colchester have completed the signing of loan defender Matt Heath on a permanent basis from Leeds.
The 27-year-old made a big impact during his two-month stint with Colchester towards the end of the season and has now agreed to stay on and help the club bounce back from their relegation to League One.
Heath made five appearances for Geraint Williams' side after falling out of favour at Elland Road, but could not stop them finishing bottom of the Championship.
The switch is subject to clearance from the FA and the Football League.
Meanwhile, Colchester goalkeeper Mark Cousins has agreed a new one-year contract.
The 21-year-old made two substitute appearances for the U's last season as they were relegated from the Championship and is now hoping to put pressure on first-choice Dean Gerken next season.
He told the club's official website: "I am very happy to be signing and to get another year.
"Hopefully I will be able to push on even more next season and push Deano for the number one shirt.
"I was very pleased to get my first team debut and I was glad that it came quite early in the season.
"It obviously wasn't the best season for the team, but it was good to be able to play in the Championship and against the quality of players in that division."