Neville: Rooney can beat Sir Bobby

LONDON - Wayne Rooney is capable of beating Bobby Charlton's long-held Manchester United scoring record of 249 goals, captain Gary Neville says.

Rooney, 23, who joined United from Everton as an 18-year-old in 2004, has scored 102 goals in 243 games - and could also eclipse Charlton's all-time England scoring record of 49 goals if he avoids injury.

So far he has clocked 24 goals in 53 England internationals.

Neville, who has played alongside a number of big scoring United forwards like Mark Hughes (163 goals), Ruud van Nistelrooy (150), Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (126) and Andy Cole (121), believes the record could be Rooney's one day.

"There is a long time to go before he gets there but Wayne does have an opportunity to beat the record," Neville told Manchester United's website.

"He will have to play a lot more games and stay clear of injury because that record has stood for many years and will be very difficult to break.

"But a player of his ability should score goals. He plays centre-forward for Manchester United. That points you in the right direction."

Charlton established his England record in 1970 and his United scoring title has stood since 1973.