Former England international claims he turned down a move to Sheffield Wednesday this summer

Stewart Downing has claimed he had the opportunity to join Sheffield Wednesday this summer, though admits he is pleased he didn’t following the departure of Steve Bruce.

By Jordan Cronin
Wednesday, 14 August, 2019, 14:46
Blackburn Rovers winger Stewart Downing

After being released from his second spell as a Middlesbrough player in May, the former England international was convinced to join fellow Teessider Tony Mowbray at Blackburn.

The 35-year-old, formerly of Liverpool, Aston Villa and West Ham United, revealed he had offers to go abroad as well as the Owls and Glasgow Rangers.

However, while The Star understands that the interest in Downing was wide of the market, he insists a switch to Wednesday was “in the pipeline”.

Upon reflection, Downing was pleased to have steered clear of Hillsborough with Bruce leaving his role after just five months for Newcastle United.

Speaking to the Teesside Gazette, Downing said: “I looked abroad and the family said it was up to me what I wanted to do.

“There were a few options but the kids are young and I thought would it be worth travelling all that way for just one year?

“If I'd known about the situation at Boro a bit sooner I would have probably moved away.

Sign up to our Sheffield Wednesday newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“With the situation at Middlesbrough, I was waiting around because I didn't know what was going on.

“Maybe I left it too late and I wanted to get sorted quickly so that's why I chose Blackburn.

“Sheffield Wednesday were in the pipeline, I think it was probably a good decision I didn't go there because (Steve) Bruce ended up going.

“I just thought Blackburn is in England, they are in the Championship, and after I spoke to Mogga I thought it would be good to play for him.

“If we hadn't had that conversation I probably would have moved away. I'd heard good things about him and I thought I would like to give it a try.”