Matt Le Tissier has urged Southampton boss Ronald Koeman to sign striking reinforcements before the transfer window closes.
Whilst manager David Moyes has been repeating his mantra about wanting Rooney to stay, albeit pointing out he will not let any single player become bigger than the club, United's new chief executive Ed Woodward has been spelling out their policy on contracts.
With two years to run on his, the perceived wisdom has been if Rooney is to remain at Old Trafford then an extension will have to be negotiated, otherwise United risk either a collapse in the 27-year-old's market value or him leaving for nothing should he remain for a further two seasons.
Given their aggressive approach to the financial side of their club, it seemed impossible the Glazer family would allow that to happen.
However, speaking to reporters in Thailand prior to Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Singha All Stars, Woodward said that is not the case.
"There are no contract renewals that are being discussed. I am not sitting down with any player on an extension and there is no trigger date in the diary," said Woodward.
"Would we be afraid to run a contract down? Of course not."
On Friday, Moyes showed the first signs of becoming exasperated by the Rooney saga, stating: "Unless I was speaking double Dutch last week, we said Wayne Rooney is not for sale."
Yet, with Jose Mourinho managing to keep the forward's name at the forefront of people's minds and no confirmation from the player that he actually wishes to extend his nine years at United, Moyes is aware it will not go away, even though the player himself is sidelined for three weeks with a hamstring injury.
What he will not do is allow the issue to cloud everything else.
"Wayne has got a major role to play, we need to get him as many goals as we can," said Moyes.
"Wayne can play up on his own, he can play dropped in. Overall my thought on Wayne is, if for any reason we had an injury to Robin van Persie, we'll need him.
"But I've also got to make sure we don't just concentrate on him. Manchester United aren't about Wayne Rooney. Manchester United are about the team, the club.
"We are talking about him now, and rightly so, but what I won't allow is Wayne to become more important than the football club and the football team."
Moyes confirmed he has already given his players the hairdryer treatment during a training session, although overall he is delighted at the intensity his new charges have been working with.
As transitions go, this has been a good one.
However, after such a seismic change, the entire process is going to take time.
"I feel comfortable in the job but I still think there are bits of it that are strange," he said.
"These players are so used to seeing Sir Alex and I've been used to seeing the Everton players, so there are bits of it that I've got to say that I can't turn round and say, 'I'm cool with this, everything's fine' because there is a little bit of unease."
That first major signing would help, although it seems Thiago Alcantara will opt for Bayern Munich rather than accept a switch from Barcelona to Old Trafford as seemed certain a fortnight ago.
"We are not looking to change the way we do things - it's been a successful formula," said Woodward.
"We want the manager to be investing. We are not in the business of delivering him players. That structure works for some, but not here at United."
Woodward insists the resources are there to recruit top-drawer talent and said they are "absolutely" able to compete for players in the £60million-£70million bracket.
"We haven't got money burning a hole in our pocket but we have got a strategy on player purchases and if David wants to go after a stellar player he can do that," he said, in quotes carried by several of the national Sunday newspapers.