United and PSV Eindhoven confirmed on Thursday that they had agreed a deal to see Netherlands international Depay move to Old Trafford this summer.
The 21-year-old is expected to undergo a medical at United next week before finalising his move to the Premier League when the transfer window opens in June.
PSV director Marcel Brands had said last week that both Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain were ahead of United in the race for the forward’s signature, but ESPN FC has been informed that Van Gaal intervened to ensure United complete the deal.
Van Gaal, who coached Depay at the 2014 World Cup, outlined his vision and long-term plans for United in talks with the player to convince him to snub a switch to Anfield.
In an interview with PSV TV, translated on United’s official website, Depay said he was excited to be working under the former Netherlands boss again.
“Yes, that feeling was good — I know the trainer very well,” he said. “We have a good relationship. It was a little difficult with all the speculation about my future, but now I’ve chosen to sign for Manchester United and my dream came true. It shows that I’ve grown up as a player.”
Former United defender Jaap Stam, meanwhile, has told MUTV that Depay is well suited to the club.
The ex-Netherlands centre-back said: “He’s a quality player. United always want to attack and the club always has an interest in players that have a lot of pace and who can also play the one-vs-ones and create something or score goals. Memphis is that type of player.
“He doesn’t pay a lot of attention to what people say in the press. He does his own thing and is very focused on his own thing. Of course, he is a team player and that’s what you need to be at United, but he has his own qualities and he knows that.
“He’s proven that in Holland for a couple of seasons now and also with the national team and I think it’s a good step for him to join United now, and also work with Louis van Gaal because he knows him very well of course.”