And the 62-year-old has been speaking about the fitness of a player long-linked with a move to Old Trafford in the form of Wesley Sneijder.
“He was very fit when he arrived to us,” van Gaal said of the current Galatasaray play-maker. “I’m incredibly happy.
“I’ve read in the media that I might have helped. But it is always up to the player because he has to follow the programme.”
The quotes come from Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, under the headline “Van Gaal: ‘Sneijder surprise’”. But could there be more to the midfielder’s fitness than simply wanting to be ready for his country’s summer exploits?
After all, Sneijder has been regularly linked with a move to United but never before has a man who knows him so well been at the helm.
If the 29-year-old really wants a move to Old Trafford, this summer is the perfect opportunity to convince his international boss that he can help turn United’s fortunes around.
Last season in Turkey, Sneijder scored 17 goals and provided nine assists, but in catching his boss’s eye so soon into the World Cup preparations, he may have also ignited a flicker of a possibility – that the oft-reported move of Sneijder to United could finally become a reality.