Berlin: Champions League side Schalke 04 say they are close to signing Dutch midfielder Ibrahim Afellay on a year's loan from Spanish giants Barcelona with the transfer window to close on Friday night.
"We have gone quite far with this," said Schalke's general manager Horst Heldt on Thursday as the Royal Blues chase the 26-year-old winger, with Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur also interested in signing the Dutch forward.
Schalke's Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar seemed to think the transfer was a done deal.
"I want to welcome Afellay to Schalke 04. Training session tomorrow at four. Don't forget!," he wrote on his Twitter account on Thursday.
Russian side Zenit St. Petersburg are also reported to be interested in signing Schalke's centre-back Kyriakos Papadopoulos.
Heldt said the 20-year-old centre back will train with Schalke on Friday and the Greek defender is likely to be offered a contract extension until 2017 with the Russians reported to be offering 20 million euros for him.