It had been widely expected that Marouane Fellaini would leave Manchester United after a tough 2013-14 campaign, but Napoli boss Rafa Benitez's attempts to lure the Belgian may be stalled by the new manager.
Fellaini became a symbol of the ill-fated David Moyes regime at Old Trafford after following his manager from Everton.
But the World Cup allowed Fellaini to again demonstrate what he can do in a different role and he has become a key target for Serie A side Napoli.
Napoli coach Rafa Benitez is making no secret of his desire to sign the 26-year-old, but the decision is out of his hands.
"He is a great player but at the moment he plays for another team. We have to wait.
"Is he the right player? We have players who are working very well but then it depends on who leaves. It's not easy to give names, it's not easy to say anything."
Van Gaal has surprised many by suggesting that Fellaini may prove to be an important part of his Manchester United squad, which could rule out a move to Napoli.
The most likely type of deal would be a loan move and it has been suggested that Napoli will look for the same kind of deal that brought Pepe Reina in from Liverpool last season with his wages being split between the two clubs.
Some experts in Italy have indicated that Fellaini would struggle to fit into Benitez's current system, but the ex-Liverpool coach's latest comments hint at a player departing.