Liverpool are considering a bid for Barcelona midfielder Ibrahim Afellay, according to Dutch Web site Sport1.nl, as reported on Liverpool's official Web site.

The Dutchman, who has been out of action since suffering a serious knee injury in September, could be the subject of a €12 million bid from Liverpool in the summer, suggests the report.

Afellay arrived at the Nou Camp in January 2011 for a cut price €3 million, with only six months remaining on his contract at Dutch club PSV Eindhoven.

Although Afellay took a while to get going at Barcelona, he made a decisive impact at the climax of last season, setting up Lionel Messi's opening goal in the first-leg of the club's Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid, with a pin-point cross.

Afellay then followed that up by making three substitute appearances for the Netherlands in their run to the final of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, where they went down to Spain in after extra time.

The 25-year-old can operate either as a wide midfielder or in a central role behind the forward line. At Anfield he could be seen as the man to take some of the creative pressure off of Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard.

Liverpool captain Gerrard is likely to drop deeper as injuries and age take their toll on the all-action midfielder. While in Suarez's case there is a growing belief that the Uruguayan needs to focus more of his endeavors on putting the ball in the net, rather than trying to create outside the box.

Since Afellay's injury, several players have stepped into his role at the Nou Camp, meaning that even a position as a substitute will not be guaranteed when he makes his return.

Alexis Sanchez, bought for big-money during the summer has excelled in a forward position, while youth products Christian Tello and Isaac Cuenca have also impressed.

A bid that gives Barcelona a significant profit on their investment of last year could well persuade the Catalans to do business with Liverpool over Afellay.