The Dutchman was officially named as David Moyes’ successor last year upon the close of the World Cup, and set about a major £150m overhaul of the squad that had failed under the Scot.
Although Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao stole the headlines with late moves to United, long-term targets that had been assessed during Moyes’ reign, such as Ander Herrera, were pursued.
However, Fabregas, who was another linked with a switch to the Theatre of Dreams in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era, was not captured, with Chelsea instead landing him from Barcelona.
And now reports claim that Van Gaal actually gave a move for the Spaniard the thumbs down, which now looks rather shortsighted with Fabregas the Premier League’s top assist maker.
LVG also did the same with a potential swoop for World Cup winner Toni Kroos.