Rooney was not even on the bench for Ferguson's final home game before his retirement, against Swansea on Sunday, after asking for a transfer. When Ferguson selects his line-up to play West Brom at the Hawthorns on Sunday he is likely to pick a team symbolic of his years at Old Trafford, with starting places for Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, plus Robin van Persie.
Until recently that would have included Rooney, but the 27-year-old could well find himself left out in the cold again.
Although United have stated that Rooney must honour his contract, which has two years left to run, there is a strong chance the England forward will be sold in the summer even if he decides to withdraw his request now that Ferguson is retiring.
Ferguson said on Sunday that Rooney "was not keen to play" ahead of the 2-1 win over Swansea.
"I don't think Wayne was keen to play, simply because he has asked for a transfer," Ferguson said.
Much will depend on the view of Ferguson's successor, David Moyes, who managed Rooney at Everton but later sued him for libel - and won - over remarks in the player's autobiography. That issue has been patched up, but Rooney's future is already top of Moyes' new in-tray.
United defender Rio Ferdinand insists everybody at the club must prove themselves to Moyes - no matter who they are.
Speaking to MUTV, Ferdinand said: "We've got to prove ourselves to the new manager. He's going to come in with new ideas, new rules, a new regime.
"No matter how long you've been here - whether it's the likes of Giggsy or myself, we're going to be in the same boat as people like Danny Welbeck, Phil Jones, Tom Cleverley. We have got to make sure he feels we're the right people to start each game."
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