The Porto man is rumoured to be the Premier League champions’ top target for the coming transfer window as they plot to partner Vincent Kompany with another top class centre-back.
Mangala is considered to be one of Europe’s best young defenders, but a deal for his signature is liable to be a complicated one due to his complex ownership situation – third parties are involved.
Benatia, 27, has now emerged as a viable alternative after his impressive season with Roma.
The Moroccan international only joined the Stadio Olimpico-based side last year, yet he is rumoured to be available for around £22m – about double the fee paid to Udinese.
There is also the prospect of a player plus cash agreement, with the Rome giants interested in Aleksandar Kolarov.
Benatia has been lauded for his performances in recent times, and is considered to be a good potential partner for City captain Vincent Kompany as Manuel Pellegrini plots to secure European success on the back of a domestic double in his debut season in England.