Barclays is lining up inside candidate Sir Michael Rake for the job of repairing the scandal-hit bank's reputation, reports said on Thursday.
It is understood Barclays is poised to approach regulators for clearance to appoint Sir Michael as replacement for outgoing chairman Marcus Agius, who offered his resignation in the wake of the Libor fixing scandal.
Sir Michael, who was promoted from senior independent director to deputy chairman amid the rate-rigging furore, is believed to be sounding out Barclays investors about becoming chairman.
He is already said to have told shareholders he is ready to step down from the boards of airline easyJet and BT to secure the chairmanship.
Speculation is also mounting over who will replace former Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond after his resignation last week.
Front-runners are said to include former JP Morgan co-chief executive Bill Winters, who was a member of the Independent Commission on Banking that drew up plans to reform the UK banking sector.
Headhunters Spencer Stuart are understood to be working with the bank to conduct the search for a new chief executive.
But Barclays is thought to be hoping for a quick change of chairman to restore confidence after receiving a mauling since news broke of the bank's £290 million settlement with US and UK regulators as part of a global investigation into Libor fixing.