Lothar Matthaus has urged Julian Nagelsmann to think again and ditch the idea of veteran Thomas Muller playing as a striker for Bayern Munich.

Muller featured as Bayern's furthest man forward in a 4-4 friendly draw against Salzburg on Friday, as the German champions prepare for the resumption of the Bundesliga season.

It remains to be seen who leads the line when Bayern return to competitive action against RB Leipzig on Friday, but Muller is an option for that role.

According to Matthaus, Germany's most-capped player and a long-standing former Bayern player, Muller simply is not suited to the role.

He has mostly operated in midfield, on the flanks, or behind a striker, proving to be an accomplished support act to the Robert Lewandowski goals show in recent seasons.

Now that Lewandowski has departed for Barcelona, and with injuries affecting Nagelsmann's options, Muller might have to fill the stop-gap role.

Yet Matthaus told German magazine Kicker: "You're not doing Thomas any favours, he's in the wrong place up front.

"Let him play where he has his strengths. Thomas belongs behind the striker, like in the past with Robert Lewandowski."

Former Liverpool forward Sadio Mane is among the Bayern forwards sidelined by injury at present, with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting another option as a starting striker for Bayern in the second half of the season.

Muller has just three goals in 15 games for Bayern this term, having hit 14, 15 and most recently 13 in the past three seasons. His shot conversion rate is also down, compared to those seasons, at a disappointing 12 per cent.

Muller, who has 121 caps for Germany, has elected to remain available to his country in the wake of their miserable World Cup group-stage exit.

He is 29 caps behind Matthaus' caps record, and the man in possession of that mark thinks 33-year-old Muller should only stay involved if he is going to play a significant role for national coach Hansi Flick.

Pointing to a case from recent history, Matthaus said: "I don't want to see him in the role of Lukas Podolski: to be there and play as a joker for the statistics in the 90th minute."