The Wolverhampton Wanderers boss has led the Molineux outfit into Europe since re-establishing them as a Premier League side, but his team have struggled to hit their usual high standards without Raul Jimenez this term.
The report claims that Mendes is hoping to see Santo take the reins at a club with more financial firepower, and Villa's owners would welcome the instalment of the 47-year-old as their new boss.
Dean Smith's deal at Villa Park does not expire until the summer of 2023, but his future with the West Midlands outfit is not believed to be secure.
Only one place and three points separate Villa and Wolves in the Premier League table as things stand. body check tags ::