Lothar Matthaus does not believe a move away from Borussia Dortmund would work for Mario Gotze as he would likely face a "poor test" in the Chinese Super League.
Gotze has struggled for form and fitness since returning to Dortmund from Bayern Munich in July, starting just nine Bundesliga games this season.
But while Matthaus acknowledges that the 24-year-old needs a change, he believes another transfer would play out badly.
"[Gotze] has to change, that's obvious," the former Bayern midfielder told Bild. "He lacks the speed that is the key to today's football. Players like Xabi Alonso can make up for this, but not an offensive player like Gotze.
"First, he leaves Munich, and then, a year later, he leaves Dortmund? This cannot be the solution. And where is he going?
"Honestly, even if it sounds a bit nasty, if it does not work for Gotze at Dortmund, he has to go to China. Gotze certainly does not want to make less money.
"He will not go to Schalke, he will not go to Leverkusen, Gladbach cannot afford to sign Gotze. Top clubs from abroad do not have it on the books.
"If he does not get in the team at Dortmund, and has the same salary demands, then he will be off to China - but that would be a poor test for a 24-year-old."