Cape Town - Dutch journalist Hugo Borst claims that Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman has "shaken hands" on a move to Old Trafford.
The Dutch midfielder, who has just recovered from a serious knee injury, will join Manchester United according to talkSPORT.
Borst claims that Strootman had decided to join Manchester United even before van Gaal took over from David Moyes.
"In the spring of 2014 there was a match between PSV and Feyenoord," Borst told talkSPORT's Hawksbee and Delaney.
"Robin van Persie was in the stands, along with Louis van Gaal. On the other side was Kevin Strootman. The pair chatted, this was when people knew Van Gaal was going to Manchester United.
"Van Gaal asked Strootman whether he was interested in playing for Manchester United, and he said he was very willing. They have shaken hands on the deal.
"It won’t be in January but it will be next summer. He is an outstanding player."
Strootman has just returned to competitive action for Roma after recovering from the serious knee injury that ruled him out of the 2014 Soccer World Cup.
The Netherlands international suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in a Serie A match against Napoli in March and missed the rest of the campaign, which saw his side lose out on the league title to Juventus.
The 24-year-old holding midfielder has been linked with a move to United for several years but Roma insist he is not for sale.