A host of Manchester United players, including a number of younger stars this summer, have been sold by the club on the premise that a buyback clause is included in any deal

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Manchester United have been proactive in their bid to acquire new faces before September 1, but the Red Devils have also been proficient in moving players on, too.

While the focus has been shifting senior players such as Fred and Harry Maguire in order to raise further transfer funds for Erik ten Hag, United have also given a handful of their talented youngsters the opportunity to kickstart their career elsewhere in recent weeks.

A handful of young stars have departed United with buyback clauses inserted in their deals and others have left under similar circumstances in the past.

Here, Mirror Football takes a closer look at the players who Manchester United could bring back to Old Trafford in the future…

Zidane Iqbal

Zidane Iqbal had spent 15 years on the books at Manchester United before he moved onto pastures new this summer with FC Utrecht.

The talented 20-year-old was highly-rated behind the scenes at Old Trafford but failed to make a single senior appearance for the Red Devils due to the wealth of talent at Ten Hag’s disposal. However, United will keep a close eye on Iqbal’s development with a view to bringing him back to Manchester.

The club inserted a number of clauses in the €1million (£850,000) deal that took Iqbal to the Eredivisie, including a buyback clause and a substantial sell-on which will see United bank 40% of any future sale.

If Iqbal impresses in a league where Ten Hag has frequently shopped in the past, then the youngster has every chance of making his way back to United one day.

Charlie Savage

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OSLO, NORWAY - JULY 12: Charlie Savage of Manchester United during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Manchester United and Leeds United at Ullevaal Stadion on July 12, 2023 in Oslo, Norway. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images) Charlie Savage has signed for Reading but could return to Manchester United in the future

Charlie Savage, the son of former Wales midfielder Robbie Savage, is no stranger to Manchester United fans after making his senior bow in the Champions League back in 2021.

Despite making that initial breakthrough, Savage junior failed to muscle in on United’s first-team plans and spent last season on loan in League One with Forest Green Rovers.

Savage’s exit still caught many by surprise though, especially given that he captained Manchester United in a pre-season friendly shortly before completing a permanent switch to Reading. Like with Iqbal, United insisted on a clause which would enable them to bring Savage back to the club should they choose to do so in the future.

Savage has made a bright start to life in League One with Reading and has already opened his account with a goal in the League Cup against Millwall. With the Royals expected to challenge for promotion back to the Championship, Savage could wind up back on United’s radar at some point in the future if his EFL career heads in an upward trajectory.

Matej Kovar

Matej Kovar Matej Kovar has joined Borussia Dortmund in a deal worth £7.7million (


Getty Images)

Matej Kovar caught the eye for Manchester United in pre-season following the exit of David de Gea, but the former Czech Republic youth international was still given the green light to complete a £7.7m switch to Bayer Leverkusen earlier this week.

After joining United as a teenager, Kovar impressed in United’s youth teams before spending time out on loan with Sparta Prague last season.

While there proved to be no place for Kovar in United’s new look goalkeeping department, the 23-year-old could still have a future at the club.

If he impresses for Dortmund, Manchester United will be able to bring him back to Old Trafford via a buyback clause which was included in the deal that took him to one of Germany’s biggest clubs.

James Garner

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James Garner was rated as one of Manchester United’s brightest young prospects but was eager to play regular first-team football after impressing on loan at Nottingham Forest during the 2021/22 campaign.

There was strong top-flight interest in Garner’s services once it became clear United were willing to facilitate a transfer, including from Leicester and Everton.

It was the latter who won the race for the playmaker’s signature last summer - but once again Manchester United insisted on including a buyback clause in any deal.

However, given Garner has struggled to make an impact at Goodison Park, such a move seems unlikely right now.

Memphis Depay

Memphis Depay Memphis Depay has made a storming start to life at Atletico Madrid (


AFP via Getty Images)

Memphis Depay was one of the first players to leave Old Trafford with a buy-back clause in place - but that boat has long since sailed.

Intriguingly, Depay was linked with a return to Manchester United last summer following Ten Hag’s arrival, but a move failed to materialise.

It seems as though Depay’s legacy at United will be the brief stint he had there earlier in his career prior to his transfer to Lyon.

Even in spite of his underwhelming spell at the club, Manchester United were keen to ensure they had the opportunity to buy Depay back in the future. However, that clause had expired well before they considered pursuing his signature again.

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