Graham Dorrans today emerged as a surprise transfer target for Villa after manager Paul Lambert revealed his admiration for the Albion midfielder.
The 25-year-old has been told he can leave The Hawthorns by Albion boss Steve Clarke, provided the club’s asking price of £4m is met by potential suitors.
It is understood Dorrans, who has made more than 100 appearances for the Baggies, would prefer to join a club closer to his native Scotland for family reasons but he may be tempted by a move to Villa Park where he would link up with fellow Scot Lambert.
Lambert said: “I saw the figure, was it four million or something? Money dictates a lot. He’s a good player Graham, but we only had him while he was young (at Livingston), so I only saw him from afar, but he’s done really fine for himself.
“There are loads of players out there that you can cast your eye over, but whether you can afford them or not is a different matter. I’ve had a chat with the owner Randy Lerner and I know exactly what’s what and what’s not.
“You can’t go and be absolutely crazy. We have to box clever.”
“Finances dictate what will happen. There has been a load of players we’ve run through our brains and tried to see what we can and cannot do.”
Villa have yet to receive any fresh enquiries for out-of-favour defenders Alan Hutton and Stephen Warnock who have returned after recent loan spells at Nottingham Forest and Bolton respectively.
They will continue to train with Villa’s youth team after being frozen out of the first-team squad by Lambert with the club ready to listen to offers for the pair.
“I don’t know what’s happening with Forest, but Alan’s back now.
“I’ll see him at some point to see what he thought of it,” added the Villa boss.
“I think he did fine at Forest. They’ve got a new manager (former Villa boss Alex McLeish) and Alan will have his own ideas on what he wants to do.
“It’s just the same, everything’s exactly the same as what it was last time, with Alan and with Stephen Warnock and for everybody.
“There’s no-one come in for my players, not a thing. I’ve always said you can’t stop anyone from picking up the phone to you, but I’ve not had that phonecall.
“There’s been no calls, nothing, so we go with the group that’s doing it at the minute.”