The Sun says Bradford made an informal approach before Tuesday's Capital One Cup semi-final second leg, asking Villa if they wanted to go 50-50 on the money either side would make from the final.
Getting to Wembley is worth £1million in ticket sales, TV rights and prize money.
But even though Bradford were 3-1 up after the first leg, they recognised they could still go out.
So they suggested the two clubs should agree to £500,000 each irrespective of the outcome of the semi.
Some members of the Villa board were said to be up for the deal but boss Paul Lambert was not interested.