Filling a gap in central defence alongside Spain's Gerard Pique is the La Liga champions' main priority before the transfer window closes at the end of next month and although PSG are reluctant to let Thiago leave, Barca president Sandro Rosell has made it clear money is not an issue.
The 28-year-old Brazil captain has a contract until 2017 and recently said he had no intention of leaving PSG.
"He is a player we have wanted to sign for several years," Vilanova said, in his first news conference since the Barca players began returning from their holidays this week.
"There is still a chance and we would like him to join us," added the 44-year-old, still looking frail after battling with throat cancer over the past couple of years.
"If he doesn't come then someone else will, we will definitely sign a centre back."
Vilanova was flanked by sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta, who acknowledged AS Roma's teenage Brazilian defender Marquinhos was "an interesting player" who had "a promising future".
The pair were speaking after Rosell told Catalan television overnight the price for Thiago "was not the problem" and said money was unimportant to PSG's Qatari owners.
"What is happening is that they don't want to sit down at the table and negotiate," Rosell told 8TV. "They don't have any need for money."