Transfer news

Agent: Afellay is happy at Barca

August 7, 2012
By Dermot Corrigan, Spain Correspondent

Ibrahim Afellay looks set to stay at La Liga side Barcelona after his agent backtracked on previous suggestions his client could leave on loan.

Ibrahim Afellay
AssociatedIbrahim Afellay is set for Schalke move

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Afellay's representative Rob Jansen last weekend suggested it was "a possibility" the Dutch international would spend the upcoming season away from the Camp Nou, but by Tuesday he was playing down talk of an exit.

"Can we completely rule out a summer exit? You never know in football, but it's highly unlikely that he will leave Barcelona," Jansen told Voetbal International. "At the moment we are not thinking about a departure. Ibrahim likes it at Barca and is playing."

A host of Europe's leading clubs, including Arsenal, Liverpool, Inter Milan, Lazio, AC Milan, Fiorentina, Borussia Dortmund and Lille were reportedly interested in taking Afellay, 26, on loan.

The versatile attacker or midfielder, who joined Barcelona from PSV Eindhoven in January 2011, immediately played a key role in the club's victorious Champions League campaign. He has since struggled to hold down a first-team place at the Camp Nou and missed most of last season with a serious cruciate ligament injury.

Having returned in time to play a part in all three games in Netherlands' disappointing Euro 2012 campaign, he has featured regularly for Barcelona in pre-season friendlies so far under new head coach Tito Vilanova, starting Saturday night's penalty shoot-out win over Paris Saint-Germain.

However, with Spain's Euro 2012 contingent now back in contention, his opportunities are expected to be more limited. Next up for Barcelona is a friendly against Premier League side Manchester United on Wednesday evening in Gothenburg.