A spokeswoman for Barclays did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Senior executives at Barclays Capital, Barclays' investment banking unit, had presented UBS as a favored takeover target at a July 2008 board meeting, the newspaper said, citing unnamed current and former directors.
At the time, UBS had already been feeling pain from the deteriorating housing market and related mortgage securities.
Barclays, meanwhile, had just failed to buy ABN Amro, losing out to a consortium of buyers. Two members of that group, Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Bernard Orr)