Bayern Munich head coach Niko Kovac conceded Sebastian Rudy could be squeezed out of the club by an excess of midfielders.
Rudy, 28, has struggled for opportunities since joining on a free from Hoffenheim just over 12 months ago.
He was restricted to 16 Bundesliga starts in his first season and has fallen further down the pecking order following the arrival of Leon Goretzka.
Schalke are believed to be circling the Germany international and Kovac is eager to trim his squad, paving the way for a likely departure.
"We have an abundance of players in midfield, that's clear to everyone," the Bayern boss told reporters.
"As a [holding midfielder], besides Javi Martinez, Thiago Alcantara and Corentin Tolisso can also play there. If Sebastian Rudy leaves us, we would have a squad with 20 outfield players. That's perfect for me."
#Kovac on the preseason:— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) August 17, 2018
"The majority of the team have had six weeks together. We've been working on our game every day and have made good inroads, but there's certainly still room for further improvement." #FCBayern #MiaSanMia pic.twitter.com/YzxTsmIKJq
Kovac also confirmed Manuel Neuer would start ahead of Sven Ulreich in the DFB-Pokal first-round clash with fourth-tier Drochtersen/Assel on Saturday.
The fitness of James Rodriguez, Juan Bernat and World Cup winner Tolisso will be monitored ahead of a match Kovac asserts will not be treated lightly.
"We cannot and will not underestimate anyone in the opening rounds of the Pokal," he said.
"We've been analysing the opponent and will prepare ourselves accordingly. We know we're the heavy favourites."
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