Boss Dyche's transfer team are focusing on the Irishman as they know Tarks will go at some stage.
Collins has moved ahead of Nottingham Forest's Joe Worrall in that wish list with a string of impressive performances.
He is the type of signing the new American owners want for their long-term plans — and they could even bid BEFORE Tarkowski is sold.
But the Gunners also have their sights on young colossus Collins as a future star — and from the club where they found legendary pair Lee Dixon and Steve Bould.
The bidding could even start this week ahead of a deadline deal. Potters will look for more than £10m but an offer in that range could seal the transfer.