The Arsenal midfielder says his fellow Basque could walk into any of England's elite sides if he opts against extending his stay at the Santiago Bernabeu.Mikel Arteta says that Xabi Alonso "could take his pick" of Premier League clubs should he decide he's no longer up to the challenge of representing Real Madrid.
The 32-year-old is out of contract in the summer and appears to be no closer to extending his stay at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Arteta, though, does not believe it is a question of commitment or money, but whether his fellow Basque still feels capable of doing himself justice in the Madrid shirt.
"I’ve known him since we were both kids," the Arsenal midfielder told 'Partido de las 12' on La Cope. "If he has any doubts about renewing his contract, I’m sure it won’t be just for sporting issues; it will be because he has concerns about being physically up to it.
"He is a very noble guy. I am sure that he has looked at it from every possible angle and he will have his decision clear in his mind.
"But over here [in England], there are a lot of teams interested in him - he could take his pick."
Meanwhile, Arteta admitted that he holds little hope of forcing his way into the Spain squad in time for this summer's World Cup.
“I haven’t had the chance to speak with Del Bosque," the uncapped 31-year-old stated. "I think the closest I came to getting called for the senior side was back in 2009."