British bank Barclays Plc is looking to buy a retail bank in the United States to extend its presence after buying Lehman Brothers North American operations in 2008, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people close to the matter.

According to the report, the bank is not in talks with any U.S. banks and no deals are imminent.

But Barclays has designated an internal team to assess possible targets and is looking for a franchise with a strong branch network and deposit base, the Journal said.

The newspaper also said Barclays was considering additional retail acquisitions in Western Europe. The bank recently bought Citigroup's credit-card businesses in Italy and Portugal.

A Barclays spokesman declined to comment on the report.

(Reporting by Michael Erman, editing by Maureen Bavdek)