have turned to Brentford's Ezri Konsa in their search for a third centre back addition this summer.
Villa have managed to re-sign £26.5m Tyrone Mings and £3m Kortney Hause following their loan spells last season.
They wanted to bring back Axel Tuanzebe, who also helped Villa to promotion last term, too but he has stayed with Manchester United
for the time being with boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer keen to run the rule over him during United's pre-season tour.
Bristol City have put a huge £30m price tag on their centre-back Adam Webster and Smith, who has already made six summer signings, is now keen on Konsa, 21, who he is familiar from his time working with the youngster at Griffin Park.
Smith was the manager who brought highly-rated England Under-21 defender Konsa to Brentford from Charlton last June.
Brentford have already bolstered their defence twice in a hint they are preparing for life after Konsa.
They have brought in Pontus Jansson from Leeds and Ethan Pinnock from Barnsley.