Council leaders have accepted a region-wide metro mayor may be necessary to secure a major devolution deal for Birmingham and the West Midlands.
A shopping list is to be submitted to government by September 4, asking Chancellor George Osborne to devolve more funding and powers to the region.
And, for the first time, it will ask what powers the region will be given if it adopts a directly elected mayor.
The seven leaders of Birmingham, Solihull, Coventry and the four Black Country councils have already agreed to form a region wide combined authority and several areas of co-operation including transport planning and economic investment.
Interviewed on Radio 4, Sandwell Council leader and spokesman for the combined authority Darren Cooper gave the first indication they were seriously considering plans for metro mayor.
Until now, the party line has been to shelve the discussion until after the combined authority is formally established next April.
But Coun Cooper admitted it was now being looked at and would be part of the submission to government along with a more wide-ranging package of proposals.
He said: "We are going to put a radical agenda to government and we're going to put that radical agenda to see what we can get out of government without having a mayor and we're also going to ask what do we get if we do have a mayor."
He admitted the main driver for this was that Chancellor George Osborne had made it very clear in meetings and public statements he would look more favourably on regions which adopted the directly elected mayor as he believed it was the best way of securing strong leadership and local accountability.
But he did not say, if the combined authority, was agreed how strong the devolution package would need to be to get council leaders, not normally keen on elected mayors, to go down that route.
The seven council leaders have previously been criticised for showing a lack of ambition and being slow to embrace the devolution agenda compared to the 'Northern Powerhouse' authorities and even places like Cornwall.
Conservative leader of Solihull Bob Sleigh said that, with just over a month to go, "we are developing plans as we speak" but added nothing had been determined.
But he warned that he, and the other six leaders, would have to take whatever plans did come forward to their own political groups for approval.
"Each individual area will have to come to a decision on that," he added.
Earlier this week, the leader of Birmingham City Council Sir Albert Bore reported back to his Labour group on progress and was given backing to continue with the bid to government.
Surrounding districts are also in talks over joining the combined authority, most likely in an associate capacity at first.