Colchester United have signed striker Eli Phipps on a permanent deal from Championship club Cardiff City.

The 19-year-old, who has been snapped up initially for the U's development squad with a view to him pushing for a first-team spot, has penned a deal which will keep him at the Weston Homes Community Stadium until the summer of 2018.

Phipps had been with Cardiff for more than a decade and signed a professional contract in 2015.

The young forward, who spent time on loan at National League North Gloucester City earlier this season, has been a regular in the Bluebirds' under-23 squad.

Colchester under-23 manager Wayne Brown said: "We've signed Eli as he's a talented young prospect.

"We've looked at both our first team and under-23 squads and what improvements we need to make and we will always look at external players to see if they will fit into our club and Eli does that.

"He's one for the future but he's one who will strengthen our squad and any successful team looks to strengthen when they can.

"He's a number nine and he's technically very good.

"He can handle the ball and he's a good quality finisher with a real eye for goal.

"We've played against Cardiff at under-23 level over the year and watched tapes of them against other sides and he's one that has caught the eye."