Emirates club want Stamford Bridge experience.
Arsenal are preparing to battle Real Madrid for Chelsea defender Alex and will offer £12million for his signature.
The Gunners are in desperate need for defensive options and want the 29-year-old to add steel and experience to a shaky back four.
A £17million deal for Bolton Wanderers centre-back Gary Cahill is believed to be close but manager Arsene Wenger is contemplating a second signing to add more cover.
Following Gael Clichy’s departure to Manchester City, Thomas Vermaelen will be asked to play at left-back if there are no other options.
Wenger, for that reason, wants another top quality centre-half in his squad and feels Alex is the perfect candidate.
The Frenchman first noticed the defender when Alex almost single-handedly knocked Arsenal out of the Champions League in 2007 for PSV Eindhoven.
The Gunners boss has made enquiries for Blackburn’s Christopher Samba but is put off by their £15million valuation.
Real boss Jose Mourinho, who signed Alex for Chelsea in 2007, is also keen on the defender with Ricardo Carvalho, 33, getting older and Ezequiel Garay having joined Benfica.
Bayern Munich and Zenit St Petersburg have also expressed interest in the Brazil international but Chelsea are yet to receive any official offers.