Sunday saw the club's hierarchy hold a five-hour crisis meeting to discuss whether it would be beneficial for the Bavarian giants to part ways with the highly successful Dutch tactician, and further meetings on Monday saw the two parties agree to part ways at the end of the season.
So why have the club decided to give Van Gaal until the end of the season? Quite simply, because there doesn't appear to be a more suitable candidate at this moment in time.
So who could take over come the summer?
Andries Jonker currently serves as Van Gaal's assistant and is deemed as a viable option to take over. The former Willem ll coach is loyal to the man who has given him his break at an elite European club, yet it's unlikely he would turn down an opportunity to manage the German giants, however short the tenure might be.
General manager Cristian Nerlinger is believed to be an admirer of Jonker, although the coach offers a similar philosophy to Van Gaal which could count against him.
This could see die Roten turn to club legend Mehmet Scholl. The former midfielder has made it perfectly clear of his wishes to become a manager one day, and he has already enjoyed a spell coaching Bayern Munich ll last season, but quit the job in the summer so that he could complete his coaching licence.
Some believe that if the Bayern job became available in the coming weeks then it might be a
little too soon for Scholl, although a Pep Guardiola-style appointment should not be ruled out.
The Bayern board will be hoping that all goes well in the immediate future so that a decision in the summer can be taken. An appointment then would certainly be beneficial in terms of giving the club's hierarchy the time to pick the right man for the illustrious job.
Several high-profile names have been linked with an end-of-season arrival at the Allianz Arena although some have apparently been ruled out solely on the grounds of not seeing eye-to-eye with chief Uli Hoeness. Mathias Sammer, Lothar Matthaus and Ralf Rangnick look unlikely to be offered the job although they won't be the last men to cross swords with the outspoken Hoeness.
The man touted as the most likely summer successor to Van Gaal is Bayer Leverkusen's Jupp Heynckes, who has worked wonders to breathe new life into the North Rhine-Westphalian club. Speculation will continue to grow, especially with the coach stalling on contract negotiations with die Werkself although Heynckes' age will be a talking point for many.
The potential dark horse to take over the club is former player Torsten Fink. The 43-year-old has been in charge of Swiss giants FC Basel since 2009 and is well on his way to delivering a second successive league title.
The young coach's stock in Munich would have rose considerably earlier in the season when his young Basel side were narrowly defeated 2-1 in the Swiss city by Bayern, despite being the better side for large spells of the game.
There are bound to be a hatful of names thrown into the ring between now and the June besides those already outlined, such is the lure of Bayern.