CYRUS Christie has joined Derby County on a three-year deal, for an undisclosed fee.
The 21-year-old was out of contract with Coventry City, and the two clubs have agreed an undisclosed fee for his services rather than having a figure set by tribunal, which would have applied as Christie is under the age of 23 and came through the Sky Blues' academy.
Christie is a tall defender who can play right-back or centre-back, and could be the replacement for Andre Wisdom, who Derby loaned from Liverpool last season.
The Rams have struggled to replace John Brayford since the former Burton Albion full-back left for Cardiff City last summer, with Kieron Freeman, Adam Smith and Wisdom all playing there last season.
Christie had a medical today and ostensibly joins on a free transfer, though the move is subject to the two sides agreeing a compensation fee.
He has spent time on loan at Conference sides Nuneaton Town and Hinckley United, and totals 116 appearances for Coventry, including 37 in the Championship, after making his debut at the age of 17 in August 2010.
After Wisdom returned to Liverpool, boss Steve McClaren identified Christie as a player to add strength to the right-back position ahead of the 2014/15 season.
“Right-back has been a focus for us this summer and we are delighted to have secured the services of Cyrus, who is a very highly-rated prospect,” said McClaren.
"We have been monitoring Cyrus for some time and while there has been a great deal of competition for his signature, we are delighted that he has chosen Derby County for this key stage of his career.
"Cyrus fits the profile of young, talented players that we have identified and I am really looking forward to working with him.
"Our head of football operations Chris Evans and his recruitment team deserve a lot of credit for closing this deal amidst much pressure.
"We have signed some very good players this summer and Cyrus is another excellent capture."
Christie joined Coventry at the age of eight and progressed through their youth set-up.
He played alongside Rams skipper Richard Keogh in the 2011/11 campaign, making 39 appearances that season.