Sky Sports sources understand Everton have turned down Arsenal's offer of Nicklas Bendtner-plus-money for Mikel Arteta.
But, after Everton's initial insistence the Spaniard was not for sale, talks are ongoing and Arsene Wenger is thought to be prepared to make a money-only bid.
Arteta has long been linked with Arsenal and the reports of a £10million move have increased since the sales of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri earlier in August.
Wenger has already signed Brazil defender Andre Santos on transfer deadline day, while a deal has been agreed with Werder Bremen for Per Mertesacker and is awaiting registration.
Bendtner is at the same time expected to leave Arsenal and his father and agent has been at Stoke discussing a move, but Everton are not interested.
Arteta would prove another key signing for Arsenal, who were demolished 8-2 at Manchester United last weekend, and would be an ideal replacement for Fabregas.
The classy midfielder has been a Premier League star for Everton for several years and, at 29 years of age, would provide the experience Wenger's side are thought to be missing.
Jack Wilshere, who could partner Arteta in Arsenal's midfield, said on Twitter: "... (Sky Sports News presenters) Simon Thomas or Georgie Thompson please give me some good news about Arteta! #ILoveAFC."
Cash-strapped Goodison Park boss David Moyes is likely to be willing to accept money, as he seeks to finance moves for the likes of Denis Stracqualursi.