Manager Paul Lambert today revealed Villa were priced out of a move for Romelu Lukaku before they signed Christian Benteke.
The manager confirmed the claret and blues were in the hunt for the Belgian ace before he moved to Albion.
Lukaku comes to Villa Park with Everton tomorrow, his second Premier League loan spell from Chelsea after a successful Baggies stint last season.
But Lambert admitted Lukaku, who has four Everton goals this season, could have been a Villa player when he approached Chelsea about a loan move in 2012.
He said: “When I first came in here I spoke to Chelsea about Lukaku before we saw Christian. I knew about him and this club needed somebody to be that type of player.
"Obviously we couldn't afford that at that time and Christian came in and the rest is history, as they say. They're totally different players but the two of them are a threat.”
Lukaku hit 17 goals for the Baggies last season while Benteke netted 22 and Lambert admitted the duo could have played for Villa together if they had managed to bag Lukaku.
He said: “I would have tried to get Christian as well, probably. What would they have been like together? Expensive. You don't know, you really don't know, but they're two powerful lads. I'm not so sure they're similar. They're two young guys who are making a career for themselves.”
Five-goal Benteke is in line to start for the first time in over a month after recovering from a hip injury suffered in the 1-0 win at Norwich.
He replaced Libor Kozak in Sunday’s 2-0 defeat to Tottenham and Lambert insisted they needed to protect their start man.
“He only trained three or four days in a month, it's just not enough to put him into that scale of a game and we didn't want to re-injure him or anything like that,” he said.
“It was the right thing to bring him on and he might have had a chance, might have scored on another day but his contribution was OK.”