Republic of Ireland Under-21 international Zack Elbouzedi has signed for English League 1 side Lincoln City on a long-term contract.

Elbozedi leaves Waterford where he was out of contract.

The Blues will receive a small compensation fee.

Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers had been among the League of Ireland sides chasing the highly sought-after 21-year-old midfielder, who has shone under Stephen Kenny for Ireland Under-21s as well as producing brilliant displays with his club.

He has scored three goals under Kenny in 10 appearances at Under-21 level so far. 

Lincoln boss Michael Appleton said:  "He's a very exciting young player, he's had a good year in terms of the stuff he’s been doing for Ireland.

"He’s gone under the radar a little playing for Waterford in the League of Ireland.

"We see this as a little bit of a coup for the football club, there’s been a few clubs showing a lot of interest in him."

Elbozedi said of his move to the side 15th in the English third tier: "I’m delighted. I came over two weeks ago and really liked the place. I spoke to the manager, and there’s a really good vision for the club.

"It was always the goal to come back to England and test myself, but it had to be the right club and I feel like Lincoln is the right club for me to progress in my career.

"I spoke to a couple of people at (former club) West Brom about Michael. They said he’s a great coach and will help me progress as a player.

"I have pace, I am direct, I like to run at people and I am not afraid to take people on. I’d like to contribute with some goals, assists and always give my all for the team and hopefully some good performances."

He could make his Imps debut on New Year's Day against Peterborough United.