Cole, 28, has only to sign on a free transfer and agree a four-year package worth £20million.
The deal works out at £4m a year plus an additional £2.5m a year in signing on fees.
That is what will boost his earnings to the whopping weekly wage that would take him past wantaway Gunners captain Cesc Fabregas – on £110,000 a week – as the biggest earner at the club.
A source revealed: “The offer is on the table and has been agreed in principle by both parties.
“Arsene is mindful that Joe spent a long time out with a serious knee injury but if he comes through England’s campaign in South Africa then he knows he is completely over that.
“What he likes about Joe is his versatility. It could be argued that his arrival might take the pain out of losing Fabregas to Barcelona. That and around £45m, which is what they’ll have to spend to get him.”