In some respects it looks an easy choice.
A club legend, adored by the fans and long-groomed as a United manager in waiting.
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and his hierarchy cohorts would love nothing more than to promote from within and go with Ryan Giggs to succeed Van Gaal.
A hero to unite the fans, someone who has belief in nurturing young players, someone who knows the intricacies of the club better than anyone and, most importantly, playing football in a style that United want to see.
Inspired by the success of Barcelona, where Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique have enjoyed seamless transitions from legendary players to the most important job of them all.
If they can do it, then surely Giggsy can as well?
Except there are doubts and elevating Giggsy as our manager would be potentially the biggest gamble in the club's history.
He was a genius of a player: a player whom married skill and brilliance with a steely determination and desire to success, a one-club legend who won everything there is to win and a man whom was, and remains, a highly regarded and respected figure in the wider echelons of the game.
As a manager though, he has precisely four games under his belt, and even then no one was watching his every move and expectations were rock bottom.
Sir Bobby Charlton and Sir Alex, supporters of Giggs and the natural United order than would see him assume responsibility and lead the club into a new era.
Enrique, and especially Guardiola, inherited a ready-made Barca team that already had David Villa, Messi, Xavi, Iniesta and Puyol on their books but Giggs will not have the luxury of inheriting such a well-oiled machine.
United need a complete rebuild on and off the field and that is a tough enough job for anyone to take on, let alone a novice manager at the biggest club in the world.
Zinedine Zidane has just taken over the top job at the Bernabeau but he cut his teeth with their B team at a relatively high level, and the same can be said for Guardiola who was manager of Barcelona's reserves before his promotion to the senior side.
There is major pressure on Woodward to give Giggs a chance- it is the romantic option and the easy choice. But the best choice? Depends on your point of view.
The two managerial appointments since Sir Alex have proved a disaster- and getting it wrong again could set the club back even further.
All the while, waiting in the wings for his long-coveted dream job, is the Special One.
Not the sentimental or straightforward choice, but a proven and successful trophy-winning one.