Wayne Rooney's future at Manchester United is dependent on him being a key member of the team but a lack of action will be "eating him inside", according to former team-mate Quinton Fortune.
Rooney returned to Jose Mourinho's starting XI to score in United's 2-0 win at Burnley on Sunday – the former England captain's first start since March 4.
Only a serious knee injury for top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic opened the door for Rooney's selection, with opportunities having been limited for the 31-year-old all season.
Reports have persistently linked Rooney with a move to China or the United States at the end of the campaign, but Fortune believes he still has plenty to offer at Old Trafford.
However, Fortune also concedes Rooney's United future "doesn't look good" and believes the striker could leave in search of first-team football.
"I was very fortunate to play with Wayne, I know what he's capable of doing," Fortune told Omnisport ahead of Thursday's Manchester derby.
"When you get older you're not the same player, but with his experience and what Wayne has achieved for Manchester United, he's still got a lot to offer the club. But it doesn't look good.
"I don't know the situation behind closed doors, but I hope he stays. With the amount of players in front of him, it doesn't look good.
"I'm sure Wayne wants to play football like any other player, so it must be tough for him.
"I don't think he'll want to sit on the bench. That's not in his nature. He'll want to play.
"Wayne wants to play every game and I'm sure, knowing Wayne, it will be eating him inside that he's not playing.
"Wayne is the kind of person who wants to help and do something for the team.
"If he stays, he needs to play. If he doesn't play, I know it will be hurting him."
Rooney has made just 10 starts for United in the Premier League this season, scoring three goals.
***Quinton Fortune ran the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday April 23 in aid of Manchester United Foundation to support its work with young people across Greater Manchester. Donate here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Quinton***