The Mexico international was named amongst the substitutes for last weekend’s 1-0 victory over Tottenham, ahead of James Wilson and Adnan Januzaj.
And, in his pre-match press conference ahead of Friday night’s trip to Aston Villa, Van Gaal told reporters that Hernandez is now second in the pecking order behind first-choice striker Wayne Rooney.
"Rooney is the striker and Chicharito is the second striker,” Hernandez was quoted as saying by Manchester United’s official Twitter account. “He knows that."
Several Premier League clubs have been linked with Hernandez over the past couple of weeks - including West Ham and Tottenham - but it seems Van Gaal will hold onto the 27-year-old unless he can secure a replacement before the transfer window closes on September 1.
Man United fans react on Twitter
Van Gaal keen to take closer look at Hernandez
Many Manchester United fans expected Hernandez would leave Old Trafford after being deemed surplus to requirements by Van Gaal last summer.
But his loan spell at Real Madrid may have convinced the veteran Dutch coach to take a closer look at the former Guadalajara forward.
Hernandez scored nine goals in 33 appearances for Los Blancos, including the winning goal in the Champions League quarter-final second leg against Atletico Madrid - arguably the biggest moment of his career so far.
But whether he will be happy playing second-fiddle to Rooney at Manchester United is another matter entirely.
Manchester United fans: is Javier Hernandez still good enough for Manchester United? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!