Ian Woosnam and Bernhard Langer have also expressed interest, although Langer cast doubt about himself this week by saying he might decide against it for family reasons.
'I still want to be involved and now is the time for me to be captain,' Lyle said at the Benson and Hedges International tournament at The Belfry.
'I don't want to wait until I'm in my fifties because it's important that the captain is still in touch with the players and knows what is going on. I played a lot in America and I think that will be an advantage.'
Lyle, 45, said he mentioned his interest to former captain Mark James earlier this year.
Lyle, who won the British Open at Royal St. George's in 1985 and the Masters in 1988, played on five British and European teams from 1979 to 1987.
'I have no idea whether I have a chance because up to know it seemed to be a straight choice between Woosnam and Langer,' he said.
Lyle said the chance of making the team again as a player were slim. He has been in the doldrums for several years, although his results over the past eight months have been better.
His availability may be discussed next week at a meeting of the European Tour Tournament Committee during which the format for selection will be finalized.
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