The News of World says Blues' £12million midfielder has been earmarked by boss Mark Hughes to lead his side into battle next season.
And Hughes is convinced the arrival of England star Barry, 28, from Aston Villa has provided him with some major options.
Sparky said: "Gareth is acknowledged as one of the best midfielders in the country but he is also a leader and a captain.
"To have players like Gareth, who understand when the momentum is changing in games and have the ability to dig in is an important strength.
"We have a captain at the moment but we want captains all over the field - and we will have more of them this year."