Barca outcast Afellay too expensive for Feyenoord
Afellay has been linked with a move away from Barcelona ahead of the 2014-15 season with the 28-year-old's career having gone backwards at Camp Nou.
Rutten was Afellay's coach at PSV, prior to a high-profile move to Spain in January 2011, with Dutch press reports claiming the duo are set for a reunion at De Kuip.
Although Rutten would love to sign his former protege, he believes Feyenoord would struggle to pay Afellay what he is worth.
"Ibrahim is welcome but I cannot imagine that we can pay players of that calibre," the 51-year-old coach said.
Afellay has only managed 21 appearances in La Liga since joining Barcelona for €3million, while he played just 10 Bundesliga matches for Schalke when on loan there in 2012-13 as injuries have wrecked his development.
The Utrecht-born winger left PSV as one of the Netherlands' most-promising young players having made 159 appearances in the Eredivisie, scoring 39 goals, while Afellay has 44 caps for the Dutch national team.
Rutten explained how highly he rates Afellay by comparing the skilful attacking midfielder to football's best two players.
"He's on my list, like [Lionel] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo," he said.
"We have to be realistic with our budget. It is almost impossible to attract such a player."