Rake 'to heal Barclays' reputation'
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.
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.
Mr Agius has agreed to remain with the bank until Mr Diamond's successor is found.
But Barclays (LSE: BARC) 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. It would also give the bank breathing space to search for Mr Diamond's replacement.
Headhunters Spencer Stuart are understood to be working with the bank to conduct the search for a new chief executive.
Another leading external contender is thought to be Richard Meddings, finance director of emerging market focused bank Standard Chartered. Mr Meddings reportedly advised the Labour Government on the bank bailouts at the height of the financial crisis.
- 'Banks could face customer exodus'
- Former Barclays bank boss Diamond rejects criticism
- Why I've bought Barclays