Carrick has played an instrumental part in Man United’s success this season, with the 33-year-old’s ability to dictate the pace of a match a key feature of their play.
However, van Gaal is aware that Carrick may not be able to last much longer at the highest level du to his age. There are also concerns over the player’s fitness as he has been sidelined for large periods over the course of the campaign.
As a result, United could look to take advantage of Jurgen Klopp’s impending departure from Dortmund by making a move for Gundogan. The German international’s contract at the Westfalenstadion expires at the end of next season and he is yet to agree a new deal.
It could prove to be a smart move by United given the fact that Gundogan would be relatively cheap but there are question marks over his fitness.
A back problem ruled the 24-year-old out of action for almost a year in 2013 but he looks to be getting back to his best form. If fit and raring to go, he would be an excellent replacement for Carrick.