Afellay set for Barcelona return

The Netherlands international has not featured since November and having reportedly fallen out with the physios at the Veltins-Arena now looks set to return to Camp Nou in May
Ibrahim Afellay looks set to return to Barcelona at the end of the season after Schalke, where he is currently in loan, failed to confirm plans to keep the winger in Germany.

The Netherlands international has been plagued by injury for much of his time with the Veltins-Arena outfit, and despite some impressive performances in his 10 appearances for the club, it seems that he will be back at Camp Nou come the summer.

Schalke's sporting director Horst Heldt explained that he did not know what the player's thoughts were due to him being away from the club during his recovery from a thigh injury, but admitted it was unlikely that Afellay would be staying in Gelsenkirchen.

"I assume he will be leaving us. Ibrahim is still having treatment in the Netherlands," he told Sport Bild.

Reports in Germany have suggested that the 26-year-old has fallen out with Schalke's medical team and has not been seen at the training ground or home matches for some time, and Heldt expressed his regret at the player's insistance on returning to his native country.

"The rehabilitation is co-ordinated with us and we are informed about everything. Of course it is a great pity that he has not been around so far.

"We as a club are registered [with Afellay] for the season, for us the identification of a player with our club is very important.

"Injured players attending our home games is not mandatory, the initiative must come from the professionals themselves."