Manchester United star Paddy McNair has emerged as a January loan target for clubs in the Championship. It is understood that Blackburn, Burnley and Wolves are keeping an eye on the Northern Ireland defender's situation at Old Trafford with a view to a move early next year.
Whether United boss Van Gaal would be interested in letting the 20-year-old go, albeit on a temporary basis, remains to be seen.
Van Gaal has a lot of time for the young man from Ballyclare even if he did criticise him after United's 1-1 draw at Leicester City at the weekend.
As reported in 'France, Here We Come' on Monday, the Dutchman was annoyed at McNair, who was playing as part of a three man defence, for being too attack minded on one occasion in the second half.
It was a harsh comment to make especially as McNair had just completed his first full game of the season for the Red Devils and played pretty well, having battled back from injury suffered in October while on international duty.
With a lengthy injury list at United, McNair can expect more games this month during the busy festive season.
Until United are back to full strength, Van Gaal would not think about allowing the Northern Ireland man to go anywhere.
The Old Trafford boss, however, would recognise the merits of a loan move for the player's development.
After all, if McNair is not going to get a game for the first team at United, when everyone is fit, it would be great experience for him to feature on a regular basis at Championship level.
Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill would not be against that.
Since qualification for Euro 2016 he has spoken about how important it is for his players to have game time at first team level, hence his continued frustration that Kyle Lafferty can't get a sniff at Norwich.
It seems certain that Lafferty will move on loan in January with Leeds United still interested in the former Rangers striker.
It will be interesting to see if McNair is also lining up in new surroundings.