City boss Mark Hughes is keen to bring the Cameroon star to Eastlands in the January transfer window.
An insider told the Sun: “City do want Mbia. A deal could happen in January.”
M’Bia revealed last month that Arsenal tried to sign him in the summer transfer market.
He told Sky Sports: “Listen, I am a Rennes player, the market will open in January and I will concentrate on doing a good job for Rennes [until] then.”
“Everyone knows there are clubs that are after me, that is not new. Arsenal made contact in the last hours of the market, but the club did not want to let me go.”