Belfast Telegraph

Gunners close in on Welbeck

Arsenal have agreed a deal in principle to sign Manchester United and England forward Danny Welbeck as talks continue to complete the deal before the close of the transfer window, Press Association Sport understands.

The 23-year-old appears set to be given the opportunity to leave Old Trafford as manager Louis van Gaal continues to build a squad he feels can challenge for honours.

Arsenal's north London rivals Tottenham were also believed to be keen on a move for Welbeck, who has scored 20 goals in 92 Barclays Premier League appearances, but the Manchester-born striker is now in talks with Arsenal.

However, it remains to be seen if a deal can be agreed before the 11pm deadline - with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger at a charity football event in Rome.

Welbeck has appeared as a substitute in two of United's league games so far this season - draws at both Sunderland and Burnley - and started in the remarkable 4-0 Capital Cup exit at the hands of MK Dons.

Having come through the ranks at Old Trafford, Welbeck has also spent time out on loan at Preston and with the Black Cats before establishing himself in Sir Alex Ferguson's first-team squad.

Welbeck has scored eight goals in 26 England caps and has lifted the Barclays Premier League trophy and the League Cup during his time with the Red Devils.

Now he could be set to become Arsenal's fifth summer signing following the arrivals of Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy, David Ospina and Calum Chambers and would add to Wenger's options in attack - with Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud both sidelined with injuries.

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