By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes

Arsenal are unwilling to meet Southampton’s £25million valuation of Morgan Schneiderlin, Football Insider sources understand.

The Gunners have trailed the Saints midfielder for two years but are not prepared to pay what they regard to be over the odds for him.

This leaves United as the favourites to capture Schneiderlin this summer, although there is also interest from Chelsea and Arsenal.

As revealed by Football Insider, United and Southampton have held discussions about the possibility of the France international moving to Old Trafford this summer. A formal bid is believed to be imminent.

Manager Louis van Gaal wants to make a major midfield signing, and is eyeing up possible long-term successors to Michael Carrick in the anchorman role.

Schneiderlin has been open about his intention to quit St Mary’s Stadium for an England-based club competing in next season’s Champions League.

Despite Schneiderlin’s desire to move, he still has two years remaining on his contract and the Saints intend to hold firm on their valuation of the 25-year-old.

“I think my decision is made,’ Schneiderlin recently told French radio station RMC. ’I learned a lot last season. The goal is to stay in England. It is a championship that I like and where I have a lot of fun. If I leave Southampton, it is for a club that plays better than the Europa League.

“There are ongoing discussions but nothing is done. But of course the Champions League is my goal. If I leave Southampton it will be for a club in the Champions League. If a club pays the right amount for me, it will be time to leave. The amount? I have no idea but I will not leave for a small price. Southampton is known to be a good seller club, the price should be high enough.’