Nacho Monreal
Nacho Monreal admitted that it was Santi Cazorla's phone call that alerted him to Arsenal's interest in signing him in January 2013Getty

Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal has opened up regarding his move to north London on deadline day of the 2013 January transfer window. The Spaniard moved from La Liga side Malaga and is currently the first choice left-back for the Gunners under Arsene Wenger.

The left-back struggled initially to displace Kieran Gibbs from the starting XI and it was believed that he was signed as a backup for the Englishman. Monreal, however, has adapted well to the intensity of the Premier League during the 2014/15 season, and is now a regular member of the Arsenal back four, which is currently the second best defence in the league behind Manchester United, having conceded nine goals to the Red Devils' eight in 12 games thus far this campaign.

Monreal has now conceded that he was not aware of Arsenal's interest until the day he signed the contract with club. He was expecting to remain at Malaga until Gunners midfield star Santi Cazorla phoned him with the news about the 12-time FA Cup champions' interest in signing him. The Spanish defender will have one-year left on his current contract at the end of this season, but he has expressed his desire to extend the deal and revealed that talks with the club are ongoing.

"I remember on January 31, I woke up, looked at my phone and have two [missed] calls from Santi. And I thought it was really strange, Santi calling me in the morning," Monreal admitted, as quoted by the London Evening Standard.

"So I called him: 'Santi, how are you? What's happened? [he replied] Nacho, do you want to come to Arsenal? [I replied] What pardon me? Yes, of course'."

"So the transfer was really quick. On one day I was training in the morning with Malaga and I didn't know anything, and then 10 hours later I was signing my contract with Arsenal. It was a really, really strange day for me, really happy of course, a good day for me," the Spanish international defender added.