Morgan Stanley Chief Executive James Gorman plans to take on the firm's top-paid bankers and may play hardball with bonus payouts this year, the New York Post said, citing people familiar with the plans.

Gorman is bracing to have some difficult conversations with bankers about scaling back their bonus money, the people told the newspaper.

Compensation at Morgan Stanley could be down as much as 23 percent this year, the Post said citing estimates from Barclays Capital.

Morgan Stanley could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters outside regular U.S. business hours.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Louise Heavens)