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The Netherlands international is enjoying a season-long loan deal in Gelsenkirchen and may even remain in Germany beyond the current campaign.

Schalke general manager Horst Heldt has confirmed the club could make Ibrahim Afellay's loan move from Barcelona permanent at the end of the season.

The 26-year-old has struggled with form and fitness during his time at Camp Nou and made a temporary switch to the Veltins Arena on transfer deadline day in August. He has since scored four goals in all competitions, and Heldt is delighted with his performances for his side so far.

"Will we keep him after the season? If his performanes remain as good, then there is a good chance," he told Bild.

After Saturday's 3-2 defeat to Hoffenheim, a game in which Afellay started and played the full game, Schalke sits in second place in the Bundesliga, seven points behind table-toppers Bayern Munich.

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