The England international moved from Premier League outfit West Ham United to his former club Middlesbrough earlier this month.
Downing has revealed that West Ham manager Slaven Bilic told him about Newcastle’s interest in him.
“The only thing I heard about Newcastle was from Slaven,” the former Aston Villa star told The Daily Star.
“I didn’t get any contact and I didn’t know anything about it until he told me – and that was the day before I came here.
“It was news to me but I was too far down the line with Middlesbrough.”
Chance missed for Newcastle?
Downing’s move to Middlesbrough from West Ham may have an element of sentiment, but it is a step down.
The former Liverpool attacker would have been a good addition to the current Newcastle squad, and the Magpies should have acted quicker.
Downing may not be one of the best midfielders around, but he would have an asset to the Magpies and would have helped them push for a top-10 finish in the Premier League next season.