Danny Welbeck
Danny Welbeck was today training with the England team at London Colney alongside Wayne RooneyGetty

Arsenal have beaten rivals Tottenham Hotspur to the signing of striker Danny Welbeck from Mancheter United after agreeing a long-term deal in the region of £16m.

The north London clubs had been battling it out to sign the England international after he was told by United manager Louis van Gaal that he could leave Old Trafford.

Spurs were thought to be favourites to land the 23-year-old after Van Gaal opposed handing Arsene Wenger an attacking impetus that could backfire in United's pursuit of a top-four finish.

But, Welbeck, who had been training at Arsenal's London Colney training base with England, forced through a move to the Gunners by undergoing a medical while Wenger was away in Rome at a charity function.

One factor that is said to have influenced Welbeck's decision is Arsenal's ability to offer Champions League football.

Comments made by Welbeck's agent to talkSPORT thickened the plot after he said his client wanted a permanent move from Old Trafford.

"Danny doesn't want to go on loan. He wants a straight transfer and he has every right to say that," he said.

The move was not officially sanctioned until United confirmed their own signing, the blockbuster loan deal for Monaco's Colombian striker Radamel Falcao.

The 28-year-old was thought to be heading to Real Madrid - and was forced to hastily delete a tweet in which he said a move to the Bernabeu was a "dream come true" - before United pounced, agreeing to a £6m fee, after Arsenal and City stepped up their interest in recent days.

The Telegraph is reporting Falcao will earn a colossal £346,000-a-week, paid in full by United, which added to the compensation fee takes United's outlay on the former Athletico Madrid talisman to an enormous £24m for the season.