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Spain's two top teams have retained buy-back options on several of their former players and will continue to monitor their progress in the coming campaigns. investigates

By Ben Hayward | Spanish Football Editor

They may have gone, but they have not been forgotten. Barcelona and Real Madrid have allowed many of their players to leave over the last few seasons but, when possible, Spain's top two teams have retained a buy-back option on their departed stars. And some of them may be in for a second chance at the very highest level.

Although it has yet to be officially confirmed, Madrid look likely to sell young forward Sergio Canales to Valencia before the end of July, having loaned the former Spain Under-21 star to the Mestalla outfit last term. But contrary to previous reports, Madrid will be unlikely to retain a buy-back option on the former Racing Santander midfielder, having revealed in 2010 that they would lose their rights to such a clause if the deal became permanent.

Earlier this summer, Madrid also transferred young right-back Dani Carvajal to Bayer Leverkusen in a €5 million deal, and Jose Mourinho's men do have the option to bring back the promising defender over the next few seasons.

Below, looks at Carvajal's case and the other discarded Madrid and Barca men who could find their way back to Spain's big two in the coming campaigns.

BOJAN KRKIC | Roma, Forward, 21

Read more on Bojan
Appearances 33
Goals 7
Assists 1
Barcelona appearances 163
Barcelona goals 41
Chance of returning 90%

Barcelona not only retain a buy-back option on Bojan Krkic, but will be obliged to re-sign the striker in a unique deal which will see the Catalan club pay €13m for La Masia graduate next summer, having received €12m from Roma last year.

Roma, in turn, will need to pay an additional €28m if they wish to keep hold of Bojan - and that seems unlikely following a mediocre debut campaign in Serie A. Bojan has shown flashes of form for the Stadio Olimpico side in his sole season in Italy, but his performances have been far less impressive than hoped and it appears highly unlikely the Giallorossi will shell out a massive €40m in total for the Catalan forward.

Bojan, then, is almost certain to be back at Barca next summer.

DANI CARVAJAL | Bayer Leverkusen, Defender, 20

Read more on Carvajal
Appearances 39
Goals 2
Assists -
Real Madrid appearances -
Real Madrid goals -
Chance of returning 70%

Real Madrid fans have watched in disappointment as their best youth players have departed in recent years, only to make a name for themselves elsewhere.

Those same supporters were furious, then, when the club - actively seeking a right-back this summer - decided to dispense with young defender Dani Carvajal, one of the brightest prospects at Real Madrid Castilla and already groomed for a long career at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Instead of promoting Carvajal to provide competition for Alvaro Arbeloa, Madrid sold the youngster to Bayer Leverkusen for €5m. Huge criticism followed, but the player himself said he hoped to return to Madrid one day and the club have retained a buy-back option - thought to be around €2.5m - for the next three seasons.

And if he lives up to expectations, bet on him to be back sooner rather than later.

JEFFREN SUAREZ | Sporting Lisbon, Forward, 24

Read more on Jeffren
Appearances 11
Goals 3
Assists 0
Barcelona appearances 34
Barcelona goals 3
Chance of returning 20%

When Jeffren came off the bench to score the fifth goal as Barcelona thrashed Real Madrid 5-0 in November 2010, life looked rosy for the Venezuela-born forward. But constant injuries and loss of form in the remainder of the campaign made him surplus to requirements and Barca - keen to raise money to fund incoming transfers - sold the Spain Under-21 star to Sporting Lisbon for €3.75m.

The Blaugrana can bring back Jeffren for €8m this summer or €12m next year, although the player is now extremely unlikely to get a second chance at Camp Nou after a miserable first season in Portugal, which saw him sidelined for most of the campaign through injury.

For the price they will have to pay, Barca will be better off looking elsewhere - even if their former forward does return to form in 2012-13.

JUAN CARLOS | Betis, Winger, 22

Read more on Juan Carlos
Appearances 2
Goals 2
Assists 0
Real Madrid appearances 1
Real Madrid goals 0
Chance of returning 20%

Juan Carlos was the first Real Madrid canterano to make his debut under Jose Mourinho, but the pacy winger, nicknamed Galgo (Greyhound), moved to Zaragoza on a permanent transfer in 2011 and will spend next season on loan at Betis.

The tricky midfielder, who also had a spell at Braga in Portugal, could yet return to Madrid. Transferred for a sum of €2.5m last year, Real can bring back the winger for €3.5m. However, with a multitude of options in the forward positions, the midfielder looks likely to have to find success elsewhere.

ORIOL ROMEU | Chelsea, Midfielder, 20

Read more on Oriol Romeu
Appearances 17
Goals 0
Assists 0
Barcelona appearances 1
Barcelona goals 0
Chance of returning 40%

Oriol Romeu found his path to the Barcelona first team blocked by Sergio Busquets and Javier Mascherano, but the defensive midfielder could yet return to Camp Nou.

Romeu found first-team opportunities hard to come by at Chelsea following the departure of Andre Villas-Boas as coach, but will hope to receive more game time for the Blues in 2012-13.

Barca, though, are on the lookout for a player able to operate in both defence and midfield and may decide to bring back their former youth player in a €10m deal this summer. Wait another season and they will be forced to pay €15m, some €10m more than the fee they received from Chelsea in 2011. At this stage, a Camp Nou return appears unlikely, but it may depend on whether the Catalans can land one of their top targets this summer to strengthen both midfield and defence.

PABLO SARABIA | Getafe, Midfielder, 20

Read more on Sarabia
Appearances 19
Goals 0
Assists 1
Real Madrid appearances 1
Real Madrid goals 0
Chance of returning 30%

Much was expected at Real Madrid from Pablo Sarabia but, as yet, the attacking midfielder has failed to live up to expectations.

Sarabia impressed for the club's Castilla 'B' side but made just one first-team appearance before joining city rivals Getafe in a €3m deal last summer.

At the Coliseo, Sarabia went on to make 19 appearances in his debut season, but flattered to deceive in what was a largely disappointing campaign both personally and for his new team.

Madrid, meanwhile, will be watching closely. Mourinho's men have the option to bring back the winger after his second season but, to stand any chance of a dream return to the Bernabeu, a significant improvement is needed from the player in 2012-13.

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