Meulensteen spent 12 years at Old Trafford and was named first team coach in 2008 before leaving the club after David Moyes was chosen as the successor to Sir Alex Ferguson.
The 50-year-old is available after losing his job at Fulham in February but his Dutch compatriot Van Gaal is keen to build his own team of backroom staff.
"I would have been keen to go back," said Meulensteen.
"I spent 12 years at what is a fantastic club and never left Man Utd because I fell out with anyone there.
"But they've chosen to appoint Louis van Gaal and he has decided to bring in his own people, so that is not an option.
"Have I spoken to Van Gaal? Yes, I know that is the case - it has been confirmed to me."
Meulensteen admitted he would have loved to return to a club where he enjoyed so much success and questioned the decision not to tap into his knowledge of how United work.
"It is disappointing," he said. "When you spend 12 years at a club the size of Manchester United, working in every department - not least for five years with the first team which were the most successful in the history of the club - of course you are disappointed.
"There aren't many coaches who have spent so much time with one club as I have.
"You would think it would make sense to have some continuity. But the people who have made the decision think their decision makes sense as well so we'll see what the future brings."