The Gunners have been chasing the Ghanaian midfielder all summer, but have had no luck lowering Atletico's demands of his £45million release clause being paid in full.
And having made only seven league starts in ten months under Mikel Arteta, Lucas Torreira also appears keen to move on.
The Uruguayan has been linked with a £22m switch to Torino, but Atletico could hijack the deal.
Torreira himself was coy when speaking to Sport 890.
He said: “I have a contract with the club and I have to respect it, obviously if I have to leave it will be for the best. We have to be calm and wait."