Former Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has told BBC Radio 5Live that he tried to bring Romelu Lukaku, Wilfried Bony, Christian Eriksen and Nacer Chadli to Villa Park.
Lambert, 46, left Villa in February after a dismal stint - almost three years - as manager, and was replaced by Tim Sherwood last season.
Sherwood has now become the latest Villa boss to lose his job, having been sacked on Sunday after a 2-1 home defeat to Swansea City.
Villa are stuck at the bottom of the Premier League table, and with just one win this season, the Villa board have to make the right decision - or they could be facing relegation to the Championship.
Now, former boss Lambert has opened up about how he wanted to bring a host of big name players to Villa Park, but was hamstrung by the club's lack of finances.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5Live, Lambert admitted that he spoke to Romelu Lukaku and Wilfried Bony, now of Everton and Manchester City respectively, whilst he also tried to sign current Tottenham duo Christian Eriksen and Nacer Chadli, but couldn't spend much more money having landed Christian Benteke in 2012.
"My highest fee spent was on Christian Benteke, for about €7m," said Lambert. "I couldn't do anything else than that. The amount of players I did speak to, I spoke to really high, top, top players, and we just couldn't do it. The players I wanted to bring to Aston Villa were big players."
"I spoke to Lukaku, and I spoke to Bony when I was there. Eriksen's agent before he went to Tottenham, and Chadli. There were lads there that were really big, big players that I thought I could have tried to get, but we couldn't do it, with the way things were going," he added.
Villa did splash the cash over the summer, but very few of those signings have paid off so far this season, and owner Randy Lerner now has to wonder what state Villa would be in now had he sanctioned those targets Lambert had lined up during his time at Villa Park.