Yassin Fortune
Arsenal are set to beat Manchester United for highly-rated forward Yassin Fortune (L)Getty

Arsenal are set to beat Manchester United to the signing of Lens U19 star Yassin Fortune after the Red Devils baulked at the £3m ($4.6m) asking price.

According to the Daily Mail, the Premier League duo have been chasing the French youngster following his impressive performances for his club and for the France U16 team against England and Switzerland.

United were in the race until they heard that they will have to fork out around £3m to Lens in the long-term and were not willing to make that commitment for a unproven star, who is yet to make his debut for the senior Lens team.

The 16-year-old is a versatile forward, who can play as an attacking midfielder, a winger or as a central striker. He has been impressive for the French U16 team, and has scored four goals in seven appearances thus far.

The report claims that the Lens U19 forward is set to sign a three-year deal with the north London club, with two of them being a scholar and one-year on professional terms.

Arsene Wenger is always on the lookout for talented young players, with reports suggesting that he has won the race to sign 11-year-old Charlie Patino from Luton Town ahead of Chelsea and Tottenham.

Meanwhile, Arsenal striker Theo Walcott has urged his teammates to go one step further next season and challenge for the Premier League title next season.

The Gunners have all but ensured third place, as they just need a point from the remaining two games to ensure they finish ahead of United making it their 18 consecutive years in the Champions League.

The former Southampton forward believes that the squad are much stronger now, and believes that it is good that the manager has a headache while picking his best team due the presence of so many quality players in the team.

"It's a step forward from where we finished last year. But we want to - and need to - be pushing on now and trying to challenge for the title," Walcott said, as quoted by the Mirror.

"There was an opportunity in the season when we were getting close to Chelsea and people were taking about us competing."

"But I sensed throughout the dressing-room that we were never quite up there with Chelsea. But, looking at the squad, the manager has an absolute headache to try and pick his best team and we want that going into next season," the Arsenal forward explained.

"We're looking very strong and you never know, he might add a few extra players, but we need to be pushing for the Premier League now. There's no excuse," he added.