Kovac approves Rudy departure from bloated Bayern midfield

The former Hoffenheim player leaving would bring the Bundesliga champions’ squad down to the “perfect” size, according to their coach

Bayern Munich head coach Niko Kovac conceded Sebastian Rudy could be squeezed out of the club before the end of the transfer window because of 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.

Midfielder Arturo Vidal left Bayern for Barcelona earlier this month, but it seems the German champions are still open to allowing Rudy to move on before the end of August.

“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 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.

Bayern will be looking to go one better in the DFB-Pokal this season after falling short last time around, with Kovac’s former side Eintracht Frankfurt beating them 3-1 in the final.

“We cannot and will not underestimate anyone in the opening rounds of the Pokal,” he said.

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“We’ve been analysing the opponent and will prepare ourselves accordingly. We know we’re the heavy favourites.”

The cup tie comes ahead of Bayern’s Bundesliga opener against Hoffenheim at the Allianz Arena next Friday, with Kovac’s team looking to kick on from their 5-0 Super Cup win against Eintracht Frankfurt.

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