China’s long-serving central banker Zhou Xiaochuan —the face of the Chinese economy to markets globally—may be swept out of office. Chinese leader Xi Jinping is considering replacing Mr. Zhou, say party officials, as part of a wider personnel reshuffle that also comes after internal battles over economic reforms. The discussions occur as Mr. Xi, now two years in office, tries to place more allies into top positions in the government, military and Communist Party, according to the officials with knowledge of the plans. The personnel shifts are expected around a major party conclave to be held next month, the officials said, while cautioning that no final decision about Mr. Zhou has been made. The top contender to succeed Mr. Zhou at the People’s Bank of China is Guo Shuqing, a former banker and top securities regulator who is currently governor of Shandong, a prosperous eastern province, the officials said. President Xi named Mr. Zhou to a third term in March 2013, despite Mr. Zhou having passed the retirement age of 65 for senior Chinese officials. Over the past few months, Mr. Zhou has continued to press for market reforms, including liberalizing interest rates. The Chinese leadership, meanwhile, has become concerned that reforms now will add another burden on an economy that is struggling to meet the government’s target of 7.5% annual growth. Removing Mr. Zhou “could suggest a subtle shift in the balance of power between reformist and reactionary forces, with the momentum for reforms being eroded by the loss of growth momentum in the economy,” said Eswar Prasad, a Cornell University China expert.