The 23-year-old centre-half is out of contract in June and Villa manager Gerard Houllier is hoping to exploit Tony Mowbray's need to raise cash.
Boro boss Mowbray is desperate to freshen up his squad and climb out of the Championship relegation zone but needs to sell before he can buy after previous boss Gordon Strachan splashed out around £12million on players in his year in charge.
Wanted: Wheater (left) could be set for a move to Villa Park in January
Villa scouts have been keeping tabs on Wheater while Stoke and Everton are also known admirers.
The Teessiders will look for around £2m for the former England Under 21 international who could leave for free in the summer.
Mowbray, who watched his side lose 1-0 at home to Millwall at the weekend, said: 'We are obviously looking to change and improve things. We will have to see what January brings.
'We will have to see if there is any interest in any of our players, and whether we are in a position to be able to do anything ourselves.
'You look at the balance of the team and the squad, and maybe at the moment the balance just isn't quite right.'
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