Villa boss Paul Lambert today revealed he was interested in Lewis Holtby before he joined Fulham.
The Tottenham midfielder was on Lambert’s radar but moved to Craven Cottage on loan after being priced out of a Villa Park switch.
Lambert had been chasing an attacking midfielder and had bids rejected by Norwich for Wes Hoolahan in a bitter transfer battle.
And Lambert admitted, ahead of Holtby facing Villa with Fulham today, the German international was out of Villa’s financial reach.
“The level was too high for us on that side of it,” he said.
“He’s a good player. I remember him when he was at Schalke. Obviously Tottenham are his parent club and they’ll have a big say in what happens to him. It’s probably his strongest position as a number 10.”
Villa still need points to be safe but are still better placed than last season, where they only secured survive in the final week.
And Lambert admitted he suffered sleepless nights during his first season in charge.
“It was not great, honestly,” he said.
“Put it this way it takes you about five hours to get to sleep, let alone anything else.
“It’s tough. It’s not a great feeling that, when you go back home and you’ve been beat.
“You think ‘I’m not going to get out of this’ or ‘here we go again’. It’s not a nice feeling.
“You learn how to handle it as you get older. But you get sleepless nights that’s for sure, and you probably age overnight. I’m just getting an hour more sleep than I did last year.”