Despite the imminent loss of Ashley Young and the likely departure of Stewart Downing, Sanchez Flores believes he would only need to make "two or three changes" to produce a squad that would achieve a top six position in his first season in charge.
A friend told the Mirror: "Quique was very optimistic about achieving his targets and felt he was extremely confident of attracting top La Liga stars to join him at Villa."
Despite Sanchez Flores' interest and his reputation as a persuasive and intelligent technical coach, Villa owner Randy Lerner switched targets to McLeish, sparking a hugely negative response among the Villa supporters.
Sanchez Flores is still prepared to listen if fan power forces Villa to come calling again.
The friend added: "Quique wants the job and wants to come to England.
"He feels that he and Pako would make a really good team at a club with great potential and is not fussed about where he will have been on their initial preference list."