He was also after his German and Bayern teammate Thomas Muller.
Van Gaal had an ultimately unsuccessful stint with the club, which lasted two years. He did win the FA Cup as his last act, but the league form was hardly impressive.
Perhaps the additions of Muller and Hummels would have made a difference.
Van Gaal told BILD: "I want[ed] to sign Hummels for Manchester United. But because at that time he was coming out of a poorer season, we didn't do it in the end.
"I can confirm that I wanted Muller. But there was nothing we could do. Bayern made it clear that they would not sell him."