According to the Daily Star, the Spanish champions were tracking Young last season and are now preparing to launch a bid to bring the 23-year-old to La Liga during the summer transfer window.
Barca coach Pep Guardiola is in the market for a wide man and, having decided not to get into a bidding war with Real Madird, Chelsea and Manchester United for Franck Ribery, has targeted Young as the man to feed the likes of Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto'o from the left flank.
Young has shone since joining Villa from Watford back in 2007 for £10m and manager Martin O'Neill will be loath to lose one of his most influential players.
However, it has been suggested that Barca will offer Aleksandr Hleb as part of the deal - a player O'Neill has been linked with.
A Spanish source is quoted as saying: "Young has been impressive all last year with Villa and at times with England. He finished the season well and is a player Guardiola likes.
"He has been following him for a while and we hope that he will want to come to a club as big as Barca and move to Spain.
"There has been no contact yet but the club are firming up their plans at the moment."