RORY McIlroy believes Wayne Rooney has every right to be "confused" about his current status at Manchester United and feels the England forward should not play "second fiddle" to Robin van Persie.
Rooney is said to be furious at the comments of new United manager David Moyes, who during an interview last week appeared to indicate he regarded the 27-year-old as back-up to last season's top scorer Robin van Persie.
Chelsea today confirmed they had made an official bid for Rooney, whom sources told Press Association Sport is "angry and confused" about his treatment.
"If I was Wayne I would be very confused too," world number two McIlroy said at his pre-tournament press conference ahead of the Open Championship at Muirfield.
"He's had nine great seasons at Man United and, reading between the lines of what's being said, I don't think he needs to prove himself to anyone.
"I don't think he needs to prove himself to the new manager. I don't think he should be playing second fiddle to Van Persie. He's been a great player and a very loyal player for Man United.
"If I was him I'd probably be in the same position. So I hope it gets sorted pretty quickly and he obviously stays at Old Trafford."
Asked if he had any advice for Rooney, McIlroy added: "He knows what he wants to do more than I... I guess he just wants to play football. I think he's that sort of player. He just wants to get on the pitch and show what he can do.
"And if he doesn't feel he can do that at United, he'll obviously want to go elsewhere. And I think that's very understandable."