Albion have highlighted Steven Caulker as their main defensive target of the summer over Villa's Ciaran Clark.
The Baggies have rekindled their interest in the Queens Park Rangers centre-back who spent last season on loan at Southampton and Liverpool.
Head coach Tony Pulis wanted to buy Caulker last summer in a double-deal with winger Matt Phillips, but Albion failed to meet Rangers' valuation of the pair and neither came to The Hawthorns.
Although Pulis's interest in Phillips has cooled, he's still keen on making a bid for Caulker, who is only 24 years old and would freshen up Albion's ageing backline.
He has two years left on his QPR deal and his wages of £35,000-a-week are within the Baggies' price range.
But Albion may face a fight for Caulker's signature with several other Premier League clubs interested in the young Englishman.
Crystal Palace have already made a £4.5m bid and Sunderland are eyeing him up too.
Relegated Clark, 26, is on the club's radar as a defender who could potentially provide cover at centre-back and left-back but Caulker is the primary target.
Albion handed 12-month contract extensions to both Gareth McAuley and Jonas Olsson for next season but Pulis wants to add at least one more defender to his back line.
Caulker started his career at Tottenham, and had three successful loan spells at Yeovil Town, Bristol City, and Swansea City.
Cardiff City bought him for £8m in July 2013 before QPR bought him a year later for the same amount.
He scored on his England debut in November 2012 during a 4-2 defeat against Sweden but hasn't played for the national side since.
He only made three league appearances for Southampton last season before playing just three league games for Liverpool.
Caulker is keen to play Premier League football next season but would prefer a permanent move after two unsuccessful loan spells.
Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur have put former Albion loanee Alex Pritchard up for sale for £8m, but the club are not interested in the diminutive midfielder after a stint at The Hawthorns yielded just 70 minutes of first-team football.