Manchester United duo David De Gea and Bastian Schweinsteiger will not start the team's first Premier League match of the season as Louis van Gaal revealed he will omit United's reigning player of the year against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
Goalkeeper De Gea is a target for Real Madrid and although the 2014 European champions are yet to make an official bid for him, manager Van Gaal described the situation as a "problem" as he worries about the 24-year-old's state of mind going into the season opener at Old Trafford.
As such, he has decided to resolve it by dropping the Spain international, who has been named United's best player in each of the last two seasons.
Van Gaal did not confirm if new signing Sergio Romero will be given his debut at Old Trafford on Saturday but said in a news conference: "We have problems of course with De Gea.
"He shall not play. I think a human being is more than just a player. He cannot manage that. You have to wait and see who is starting."
United had been holding out for a world-record fee for a goalkeeper and are willing to hold De Gea to the last year of his contract and risk losing him on a free transfer next summer.
However, Van Gaal suggested he is powerless to act in the whole saga, adding: "That is in process. I cannot lead this process. I can only watch and observe and that is what I am doing but I am not participating in the process."
De Gea was partly to blame for a goal United conceded in their 2-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain but Romero, who arrived from Sampdoria, has not featured in any of their preseason friendlies.
With Victor Valdes currently frozen out of the first-team, Sam Johnstone and Anders Lindegaard represent United's alternatives to Romero.
Midfielder Schweinsteiger, who was a £14.5m summer signing from Bayern Munich, has not convinced Van Gaal he is fully fit to make his Premier League debut.
The World Cup winner missed the win over Barcelona with a minor injury and former Bayern manager Van Gaal believes he needs more time on the training ground.
"Schweinsteiger came at the last moment out of his holidays," he explained. "I don't think he is fit enough. We have to build him to the fitness I think he needs."
United will be without defender Marcos Rojo, who did not feature in their preseason tour of America, when they face Mauricio Pochettino's team.
The Argentina international was granted time off after the Copa America and was then unable to fly to the United States because of passport issues.
"It is not possible for Rojo to be match fit as he was the last player to come back," Van Gaal told MUTV.
Midfielder Marouane Fellaini, who starts a three-match ban after he was sent off at Hull on the final day of last season, is another who will not play.
But United, who suffered plenty of injury problems last season, have no players sidelined now.
"It is unbelievable," Van Gaal said with a smile.