Colchester have completed the signing of defender Magnus Okuonghae on a two-year deal from Dagenham & Redbridge.
The 23-year-old, who can play in the centre or at right-back, turned down the offer of a new contract with the Daggers.
As revealed by skysports.com on Tuesday, that alerted Us boss Paul Lambert who moved quickly to make Okuonghae his third defensive signing of the summer.
Alan Maybury and Lee Beevers have already moved to the West Homes Community Stadium as Colchester target a promotion push this season.
The powerful Okuonghae caught the eye of a number of League One and Championship sides with his solid displays at Victoria Road over the past two seasons.
Dagenham will be entitled to compensation because of his age, with a figure due to be set by a tribunal.