rooney ups goal target

MANCHESTER - As Manchester United prepare in Germany for the pre-season Audi Cup, striker Wayne Rooney says he is thirsty for goals in the Premier League season starting on August 15, .

MANCHESTER - As Manchester United prepare in Germany for the pre-season Audi Cup, striker Wayne Rooney says he is thirsty for goals in the Premier League season starting on August 15, .

The striker is relishing being even more in the spotlight now that attack partner Cristiano Ronaldo has left for Real Madrid and aims to improve on last season's 20 goals.

"I have always said I would like to score more goals than the previous season so that is what I am aiming for again this time," he told www.manutd.com as the team returned to Europe after their Asian tour.

"If I can do that I will be really happy," said the 23-year-old who was among the scorers in an eight-goal romp over China's Hanzhou Greentown on Sunday.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson says he has strong options up front going into the new Premier League season.

New signing Michael Owen netted a brace in the clash against Hangzhou to add to two goals in Malaysia. Ferguson, chasing a record fourth consecutive Premier League crown, paired Owen and Dimitar Berbatov from the start for the first time in China and both found the net in the opening period.

"We didn't use (Federico) Macheda tonight but I think it gives us strong options," he said.

The United boss spoke highly of Owen, 29 - signed on a free transfer earlier this month - and the experience he brings to the side.

The Audi Cup also features Argentine champions Boca Juniors, AC Milan and host team Bayern Munich.

Ferguson confirmed that the squad would be joined in Germany by three reinforcements: young Irish defender Craig Cathcart, Serbian centre-back Nemanja Vidic and summer signing Antonio Valencia. - Sapa-AFP

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