Ibrahim Afellay is set to return to Barcelona in the summer after Schalke seemingly confirmed that they will not be signing him permanently.
The Germans currently have the Dutch winger on a season long loan from the Camp Nou and have a reported €2.2m purchase option in the deal to take full ownership of the 26-year-old next summer.
Sporting director Horst Heldt was quoted in November as suggesting Afellay’s early good form was enough to convince them to do that, but he has today commented that the reverse is now likely.
Afellay has not played an official game at Gelsenkirchen since November, after suffering consecutive hamstring and thigh injuries, and he has reportedly clashed with physios at the club over his belief that they failed to identify and treat these injuries correctly.
““I assume he will be leaving us. Ibrahim is still in treatment in the Netherlands,” Horst told Sport Bild in an interview published today.
“The rehabilitation is co-ordinated with us, 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 for the season, for us the identification of a player with the club is very important.
“Injured players attending our home games is not mandatory, the initiative must come from the professionals themselves.”
Afellay’s 18 months at Barcelona prior to this move were also affected by struggles with injury.