The Daily Star Sunday says some of that has been forced on Ferguson with the retirements of veterans Paul Scholes, 36, Gary Neville, 36, and goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, 40.
But this summer has also seen long-serving central defenders Wes Brown, 31, and John O'Shea, 30, move on to Sunderland.
The injury-plagued former England midfielder Owen Hargreaves, 30, has been released and £7.2m Portuguese flop Bebe, 21, has been sent out on loan to Besiktas with a view to a permanent deal.
Talented youngsters who weren't going to break into United's first team have also been sold. Joe Dudgeon, 20, has joined Hull and striker Nicky Ajose, 19. has signed for Peterborough, managed by Fergie's promotion-winning son Darren.
The United boss has also sent a member of the club's FA Youth Cup winning team, midfielder Ryan Tunnicliffe, 18, on loan to Peterborough, to give him greater experience at Championship level.
With defender Ritchie De Laet, 22, joining Norwich on loan, all that means a United departures team of: Van der Sar; Neville, Brown, O'Shea, De Laet; Hargreaves, Tunnicliffe, Scholes, Dudgeon: Bebe, Ajose.
Another goalkeeper Conor Devlin, 19, has been freed and more players will be heading for the Old Trafford exit, including youngsters who will be sent out on loan.