Rory McIlroy believes “discussions have taken place” about the PGA Tour merging with the European Tour and that it is “counter-productive” for them to compete as they currently do.

McIlroy, 28, says the US-based circuit could buy its European rival, which could run key events in the continent.

“The World Tour – it’s going to happen one day and I think it has to,” said the world number eight.

“I think everyone has to come together. I don’t see any other way.”

McIlroy was speaking on the ‘No Laying Up’ golf podcast after failing to qualify for this week’s Tour Championship in Atlanta.

“To have all these tours competing against each other, and having to change dates, it’s counter-productive,” added the Northern Irishman, who claimed the FedEx Cup title last year.

“The easy thing would be for the PGA Tour to buy the European Tour and take it from there.

“They could still run the European events and we’ll have, say, 12 big events a year, outside the majors, a bit like they do in tennis.

“I don’t see any other way. I know discussions have taken place, so maybe one day.”

Hampered by rib and back injuries all season, McIlroy plans to take three months off after next month’s British Masters and Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in order to recover full fitness.