Darren Clarke would “love” to be Europe’s next Ryder Cup captain

The dust barely settled on an extraordinary 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, Darren Clarke has already expressed his desire to replace Paul McGinley as Europe’s captain for the next big showdown.

Clarke was a vice-captain two years ago at Medinah, where Europe fought back from 10-6 down to win the event in memorable fashion.

McGinley has so far insisted he will not be involved again as either a captain or vice-captain, having now done both roles. And although some would like him to serve a little longer in the hot seat, it seems inevitable that a change is in the offing.

Clarke has been sitting pretty atop the bookies’ favourites lists to replace him, with Miguel Angel Jimenez, Colin Montgomerie, David Howell, Bernhard Langer, Jose Maria Olazabal, Padraig Harrington and Paul Lawrie also apparently in contention.

And Clarke has wasted little time in confirming his desire pick up the reins and lead Europe into the next Ryder Cup, of which he has appeared six times as a player.

“I would love to be at some stage. But that’s up to the committee to decide,” Clarke told Sky Sports.

“They will have a list of potential candidates and look at each one on merit, discuss it and decide which guy is best. Obviously it would be a huge honour. If they would offer me the position I would love to do it at some stage.”

McGinley, meanwhile, has not cut ties with Europe completely. He is said to be happy to help the team in any way he can, but not in an official capacity.

"The Ryder Cup has been very good to me and I'm quite happy now to take very much a background (role)," McGinley said.

"I've got a role now in deciding who the next captain will be and we'll see where that goes in the next few months on behalf of the European Tour."

When asked whether McGinley could be lured back into the fold as vice-captain in the future, he added: "No, I've done my piece and I'm happy to have the honour and happy to help in any way going forward.

"I don't think it would be right for me to go into the vice-captaincy role. I don't know if I'd quite enjoy that, having done it, and then stepped up to captaincy.

"But I'm very happy to help the captain in any way. On the European side, obviously!"