By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Ruhnert prioritizes January roster trimming in interview

In an interview appearing in the Monday print edition of German footballing magazine Kicker, Union Berlin sporting director Oliver Ruhnert gave clear indications that the club wished to reduce its roster over the winter transfer period. 
With 29 players on the active roster, 1. FC Union Berlin doesn't necessarily have exigent payroll problems. FCU sporting director Oliver Ruhnert nevertheless told Kicker magazine that reducing the size of the squad would be a greater priority than adding new players over the coming transfer period.

"The seldom used players have the greatest amount of thinking to do," Ruhnert told Kicker's Jannis Klimburg, "If you realize that you're not getting opportunities and the competition is perhaps just too big, then I expect a professional to think about a change."

"If a player thinks otherwise that is naturally his prerogative," the 51-year-old executive continued, "but that doesn't make sense under normal circumstances."

Ruhnert did not list specific names, but the most likely candidates for departure can be found in the squad's bloated midfield. Eisernen head-coach Urs Fischer has 13 natural central midfielders at his disposal; far too many (even with rotations) for the type of tactical system the Swiss trainer runs.

Kevin Möhwald (signed from SV Werder Bremen last autumn) and Levin Öztunali (brought in from Mainz last summer) appear to be players Ruhnert would like to shed. Öztunali logged just six minutes of action this year while Möhwald has not been used at all. The pair maintain a combined estimated market worth of €2.5 million in the latest transfermarkt listings.

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