Afellay agrees Schalke loan deal

Holland winger Ibrahim Afellay has joined Schalke on a season-long loan from Barcelona, both clubs have confirmed.

The 26-year-old arrived at Barca in December 2010 from PSV Eindhoven and has played 27 games for the Catalan giants, helping the club win the Primera Division and UEFA Champions League in his first season.

Afellay then picked up a serious cruciate ligament injury during pre-season training ahead of the 2011/12 campaign, only returning to action in April and hardly featured in the run-in.

He was nevertheless selected by Bert van Marwijk to be part of the Holland squad for what turned out to be a disappointing UEFA European Championship, and has since appeared in all of Barca's pre-season matches.

Royal Blues coach Huub Stevens told club website "I look forward to working with Ibrahim. He has special qualities and can play in several positions.

"In Eindhoven Ibrahim played centrally, but he can also do a job on the left or right."