WANDERERS have struck early in the transfer window to land Wycombe centre-back Chris Fornio on a free transfer.

The highly-rated defender, who was close to joining Championship side QPR last season, has signed a three-year deal at the Toughsheet Stadium.

Forino made 90 appearances at Wycombe over the last three years but turned down the chance to stay at Adams Park to move to the North West with Bolton.

As reported by The Bolton News last week, Ian Evatt had made defensive reinforcements his first task of what looks like being a busy summer transfer window.

“I’m absolutely delighted,” said the 24-year-old centre-back.

“It’s a massive club and a massive opportunity for myself. My earliest memories of this football club was watching them on Match of the Day in the Premier League, so I know it’s a club with ambition and this feels like the right fit for me.

“For me it (what attracted him to Wanderers) was the Gaffer at first. It was one of the shorter phone calls that I had over the summer and sometimes, you just know.

“It was a very swift and short call, and I came off thinking ‘this makes sense’. It’s a great club and it will allow me to grow as a player and a person.

“As I said, it’s a club with ambition and I hope to play a big part in it.”

Forino will link up with his new team-mates at the end of the month for fitness testing before heading out for a short training camp in Portugal.

The former Brentford youth product, who qualifies to play for Engand, Italy or St Lucia, is relishing the chance to showcase his talents at Wanderers.

“I absolutely love defending and I think it’s an art to do that, so I’m no-nonsense in that sense,” he said.

“I’m excited for the challenge ahead and to work with the Gaffer and his coaching staff on my game and flourish in a Wanderers’ shirt.

“I want to get the fans onside with me early doors. I want to make big tackles, celebrate with them and feel really connected with them – that’s really important to me.”

Speaking to the Wycombe official website, Forino said he would be forever grateful to the club for giving him a chance in League One.

He said: Wycombe have given me everything that I’ve wanted up until this point.

"Whatever I go on to do for the rest of my footballing journey, I’m forever grateful and be forever indebted to that football club. 

"That's from the way they nurtured me into professional football and the way they took care of me as a person.

"Then, they developed me as a footballer and allowed me allowed to make my professional debut."

Forino will officially become a Bolton player on July 1.