George Osborne has made his clearest indication yet that this region could have a mayor covering Birmingham, the Black Country and beyond.
The Chancellor told the Commons that talks would need to take place with the region’s civic leaders and MPs about which plan to pursue, although he added the move to a mayoral model could be "perhaps just in the city".
The Greater Manchester region is set to be the first area to benefit from Mr Osborne's proposals to give cities greater freedoms and more powers, including an elected "metro-mayor".
The Post reported last week that shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna wanted the region to have a metro-mayor with genuine devolved powers.
Mr Osborne also said he was open to discussions with any metropolitan area wishing to follow Manchester's lead in an attempt to reduce the "decades-old gap between north and south".
During Treasury questions, Mr Osborne was pushed to outline his thoughts on Birmingham's future.
The Chancellor replied to Labour's Gisela Stuart: "I don't think any one area is the same as any other area and there was a specific model for Greater Manchester and the Greater Manchester councils have worked well together as a combined authority.
"Clearly, Birmingham City Council is much larger than Manchester City Council alone.
"So it's a conversation I would like to have with you, with (Birmingham City Council leader Albert Bore) and with other civic leaders in Birmingham about whether we can move to a mayoral model, perhaps just in the city, but that’s a discussion to be had with local people."
Ms Stuart, MP for Birmingham, Edgbaston, had asked Mr Osborne: "You opened the door for other metropolitan areas to go down the route of the northern powerhouse.
"Have you given some consideration as to what you regard as the optimum size for those units? In the West Midlands would you look for a greater Birmingham and the Black Country metropolitan area or for the entire West Midlands?"
In response, Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council, this afternoon welcomed the Chancellor’s interest. He added:ing: “We are in the process of developing proposals for a combined authority that will represent an economic powerhouse to rival that of Greater Manchester and the North.”
Earlier, Mr Osborne told MPs: "I hope Manchester will be the first of many cities to take advantage of the greater devolution of powers and I open my door to discussions with any metropolitan area that wants to move to a new model of governance."
Labour's Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) questioned why it had taken Mr Osborne four-and-a-half years to raise the "northern powerhouse" idea.
He noted Yorkshire was a "bit canny", adding he was worried it was raised with the general election in mind.
While he noted there was support from Yorkshire for the idea, Mr Sheerman also asked: "Where's the money coming from? I haven't seen, we haven't seen any resources for it."
Mr Osborne replied: "We have already made investments over the last four years in things like the northern hub and the electrification of the TransPennine railway, which of course would help your constituency. I welcome your support for the northern powerhouse.
"This agreement with Greater Manchester was an agreement struck with Labour leaders of Manchester councils as well as the Conservative leader of Trafford and indeed the Liberal Democrat leader of Stockport, so I would want to work across party divides with local Labour civic leaders and indeed local Labour MPs to see what we can do for Huddersfield and other towns in the north of England so they're connected to the northern powerhouse."