The majority of the 20-year-old's 27 first-team appearances for Man United have come in defence, but he appeared twice for his country in a midfield position during the recent international break.
McNair, who has struggled for first-team football this season despite Van Gaal's injury problems, has claimed that he is "really enjoying" learning to play a new position.
"I am learning about the holding midfield position and really enjoy playing it for Northern Ireland. A lot of people said when I was growing up that I would end up in midfield and to have played there a few times at international level is great," McNair told the Belfast Telegraph.
"I started playing centre-back for United and maybe now people see me as a centre-back but personally I think I'm more of a midfielder. If I had the chance to play the holding midfield role at United that would be fantastic. If I'm told though to play centre-back, right-back or wherever, I'll be happy enough because I want to play games."
McNair is expected to travel to Euro 2016 with Northern Ireland this summer despite his lack of action at club level.