After the Red Devils missed out on the signings of Spanish midfielders Cesc Fabregas and Ander Herrera last summer, the club and manager David Moyes were frantically scrambling, trying to bring in a new central midfielder, and on deadline day they finally tied up the £27.5m capture of Moyes' former Everton midfielder Fellaini.
The Belgian international had impressed with the Toffees, but the huge fee always seemed a little too generous for him. It was therefore no surprise to see the 26-year-old struggle at Old Trafford, gradually developing into a figure of ridicule as the season went on.
Yet he has made a big impact at the World Cup in Brazil, coming off the bench to score the crucial equaliser for Belgium against Algeria - a game which Marc Wilmots' side went on to win 2-1. His game-changing display has led to some claims that United simply don't know how to use him properly - which could of course change under new boss van Gaal.
The Dutchman is very tactically flexible and could no doubt find a role for the former Standard Liege man, but Fellaini says he wants to hold face-to-face talks with the new manager before deciding his future, but says he still wants to stay at Old Trafford if he is wanted.
"I want to meet Van Gaal and look him straight in the eye," Fellaini said. "I am not playing at this World Cup for a transfer. I feel good at Manchester United. I have to admit that this season was one which I want to forget as quickly as possible. But I am still the same Marouane."
Playing in a holding midfield role doesn't seem to suit Fellaini, but playing further forward, he has played his best football for Everton and Belgium - with a potential target man role even in the offing.