The 28-year-old moved to Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande last year, but is already considering his options after failing to settle in the Far East.
It is believed that he is currently embroiled in a contract dispute with his employers, which is similar to that suffered by Didier Drogba.
The Ivorian was eventually allowed to move on for free, and now plays for Galatasaray.
Barrios admitted recently that he is far from happy with the situation and is looking to leave in a bid to get his career back on track.
Prior to his switch to Guangzhou Evergrande, the South American hot-shot impressed with Borussia Dortmund, averaging a goalscoring record of almost one in every two games.
This alerted both City and Arsenal, although they were unable to match the financial lure of Chinese football.
But now they could rekindle their interest and offer Barrios a European lifeline.
The duo are both in the market for attacking reinforcements, with City particularly short on forward threats having sold Carlos Tevez.
Arsenal are reportedly closing in on Gonzalo Higuain, but could turn to Barrios if the deal collapses.
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