Houllier, who will officially begin work at Villa Park next week, has been linked with a swoop for the Manchester United forward after sealing his own switch back to England.
The French tactician worked with the former England striker for six years during their time together at Liverpool - and the new Villa chief has not dismissed the chances of a reunion.
"He has always been in my thoughts," Houllier told Canal+. "I like him (Owen), as a player and a man."
Houllier also dismissed suggestions that Owen, 30, was no longer capable of producing goals at Premier League level.
"I went to Liverpool on September 4 for Jamie Carragher's testimonial, and I saw Michael play a half of football," he said. "He still has the legs for it."
Houllier's comments come on the same day as Owen revealed that he is growing increasingly discontented with life on the bench at Old Trafford.
"You can only do your best and prepare and train well, so that you are ready when the manager calls on you," said Owen.
"After that, it's up to the manager who he chooses.
"It sounds easy, but probably the most difficult thing is not playing for a couple of weeks and then all of a sudden getting called up and being mentally and physically right to perform well.
"At the end of the season, I'll look and think, 'Was I happy with the amount of games I was available for?', 'Did I score enough goals in the games when I played?' and 'Did I play well enough in those games?'
"You look at highlights of the season, did we win anything, things like that. But I wouldn't put any goal or appearance totals out there because, at a club like this, you never know when the manager is going to use you."