The Inter Milan enforcer, 33, flew to England yesterday to undergo a medical and put the finishing touches to a deal set to be for an initial six months.
City boss Roberto Mancini, who signed Vieira for Inter in his last job, is hoping the former Arsenal captain will help push the ambitious Eastlands outfit into the top four.
Vieira, meanwhile, is eager to repay Mancini’s faith and find the form needed to earn a recall to the France squad for this summer’s World Cup in South Africa.
“I want to go to the World Cup and I need playing time,” said Vieira, who fell down the pecking order at Inter after Jose Mourinho replaced Mancini as manager.
“It’s over, after a year in Turin [with Juventus] and three-and-a-half years in Milan. I have objectives and I can’t achieve them by staying at Inter where I am not part of the coach’s choice.
“What is important for me is to go to Manchester City, to show the coach that I am the same as I was during the period when he was at Inter. All this will help me get into the France team.”
Vieira’s signing is expected to be confirmed today and is likely to mark the start of another busy spell in the transfer market for super-rich City, who are owned by Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour. Argentina left-back Cristian Ansaldi, currently of Russia’s Rubin Kazan, is tipped to be the next arrival for around £4m.