Van Persie urged to beat last season's goal record for Arsenal by Sir Alex Ferguson

The Red Devils boss believes his two main strikers need to score around 40 goals between them if his team are to wrestle the Premier League titles back from their rivals

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has set Robin van Persie a campaign target of beating last season's goal return for Arsenal.

The Dutch striker netted a whopping 37 goals for the Gunners last term, and new new boss believes a similar rate this term will give the Red Devils a great chance of reclaiming the Premier League crown.

And Sir Alex has not stopped there, also asking Rooney to chip in “over 20 goals”.

35/1 Robin van Persie is 35/1 with bet365 to score first in a 3-1 victory over Newcastle

"I would love that to happen," Sir Alex told the club’s official website.

"In my experience, and where we are at the moment, we need two strikers to get over 20 goals. If we get that, we definitely have a chance.

"The refreshing thing for me is Robin’s doing extra work in training because he’s not had many pre-season games.

"It’s quite remarkable considering he’s got seven goals in [his last] seven games. I’m pleased with that and I think his fitness will improve even more."

The Scot watched as his star duo combined for the goals to beat Cluj in the Champions League in midweek.

Rooney and Van Persie were joined up top by Javier Hernandez, although Sir Alex admitted the three-pronged attack was more experimental than a new potential tactical setup.

"For the last couple of years, Wayne has played a lot in behind one striker," Sir Alex continued.

"But Cluj are a useful side who rely on the counter-attack, so we tried to avoid that as much as we could.

"Chicharito was occupying the main two central defenders so we’d have a wee bit more space for Rooney and Van Persie. But their goal was from a counter-attack, and we tried to force them onto us so we could counter-attack ourselves."