Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck has signed a four-year contract extension keeping him at Old Trafford until 2016.

The England international enjoyed a successful breakthrough season at United last season, scoring 12 goals as he firmly installed himself as the first choice striker alongside Wayne Rooney.

Welbeck scored his first England goal during this summer's European Championship against Sweden, and manager Sir Alex Ferguson is delighted to have secured the striker's services.

Danny Welbeck
Welbeck will stay at United until 2016.

"Danny has been with the club since he was eight years old and has made fantastic progress in the last couple of years - first out on loan and last year as a regular in the first team," Ferguson said.

"He has become an important player at international level as well, as the maturity of his performances at the European Championships showed. This year is another important one for him. He has a bright future ahead of him."

With his contract due to expire next summer, Welbeck has signed a four-year deal under improved terms to commit to the next stage of United's transition.

After sporadic appearances in the first team following his debut in 2008, Welbeck spent the 2010/11 season on loan at Sunderland to help prepare him for the rigours of first-team football.

His performances at the Stadium of Light earned him his England debut in March 2011, and a place in the United first-team for the 2011/12 term, beating off the likes of Javier Hernandez and Dimitar Berbatov to partner international colleague Rooney.

Upon his return to the Theatre of Dreams, Welbeck quickly sought to make an impression, scoring against both Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal before injury curtailed his campaign.

Goals followed in the league against the likes of Aston Villa and Everton, form which earned him a place in Roy Hodgson's England squad for Euro 2012.

Welbeck started every game in England's campaign which ended with defeat to Italy on penalties in the quarter finals, and after signing a new deal with his club, the 21 year old says he is fulfilling his dream by playing for the 12-time Premier League champions.

"Playing for United is all I've ever wanted to do - it's the club I've supported all my life," he said.

"I can't wait for the challenge of the new season to play my part in helping the team compete for trophies. I'm learning all the time from the best manager in the game and I'm keen for that to continue alongside the world class players in the squad."