Date: 17th December 2022 at 10:31am
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The Premier League returns in just over a week, with English top flight football set to kick-off once again on Boxing Day. 

Manchester United host Nottingham Forest on Tuesday, December 27, but they will first face Burnley in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.

Erik ten Hag’s side have endured an inconsistent start to the Premier League season, winning eight and losing four of their 14 matches so far.

The Red Devils will no longer have Cristiano Ronaldo in their ranks, with the Portuguese having departed the club by mutual consent last month.

Following the 37-year-old’s exit, the club are believed to be looking for a replacement, and PSV forward Cody Gakpo had emerged as one possible candidate.

Now, though, it appears that United’s pursuit of the Dutchman may prove more tricky than first thought.

According to The Mirror, Real Madrid are set to rival United for the signature of Gakpo, who was in sensational form for The Netherlands at the World Cup.

The 23-year-old netted in each of his country’s group stage matches, but was unable to prevent their quarter-final exit at the hands of Argentina last week.

Gakpo was arguably The Netherlands’ most impressive player at the World Cup

United’s interest is said to have increased since Gakpo’s performances in Qatar, but with Real Madrid now interested they may not be able to lure the player to Manchester.

Gakpo has been in sensational form for PSV so far this term, scoring scoring 13 goals and providing 17 assists in 24 matches across all competitions.

The current top scorer in the Eredivisie, Gakpo has been linked with a number of clubs including Leeds United, who were reportedly just hours away from signing the forward before PSV cancelled the deal.

Newcastle United, who spent big over the summer, are also said to be interested in the player.

Gakpo is contracted to his current side until 2026, but PSV’s director of football Marcel Brands recently admitted that the Dutch side would sell the player, although only for a fee that would make him their most lucrative departure ever.

That accolade is currently held by Mexican forward Hirving Lozano, who left to join Napoli for around £40 million back in 2019.

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