Lothar Matthaus believes that Mario Gotze isn't fast enough to play in the Bundesliga anymore and has suggested the Borussia Dortmund attacker try playing in Serie A instead.
Gotze has taken on a reduced role at Signal Iduna Park in 2019-20 and is widely expected to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the season.
The 27-year-old has made 19 total appearances for Dortmund this season, only six of which have come as a starter.
With Serie A clubs like AC Milan and Roma reported to have an interest in the Germany international, Matthaus has encouraged Gotze to move to a league he believes suits his style better than the Bundesliga.
"I assume that his time at Dortmund has ended," Matthaus said of Gotze in his column for Sky. "I would be very surprised if there could be an agreement in the upcoming negotiations.
"Today, his way of playing football is no longer in demand. Above all, he lacks speed to keep up with the football that Dortmund and many other top clubs practice.
"The move to FC Bayern was not what he dreamed of in the end. He never really got back to his best at Dortmund after his return."
Gotze was a rising star at Dortmund when he made a £33 million ($41m) switch to Bayern in the summer of 2013, which was followed by him scoring the decisive goal for Germany in the 2014 World Cup final.
But Gotze never reached the heights expected of him at Bayern and in 2016 he returned to Dortmund, where he has been in and out of favour during his second spell with the club.
With Gotze's career at a crossroads, Matthaus has encouraged him to consider a move to Italy.
"Gotze must find a club and above all a coach who builds around him and aligns the game plans with him," Matthaus continued.
"It is quite possible that Italy would be a suitable league for him. At least the game is not played so quickly there and that would benefit him.
"He has no lack of will. I have seen him play a few times and one can certainly not accuse him of listlessness or lack of ambition.
"But he is also not the player you want to see running 30 metres back to win balls deep in his own half. Gotze is not a football worker. If he has to do such tasks, I'm almost sorry."