Downing has rejoined Middlesbrough after two years with West Ham and has claimed that Billic is the reason for his departure.
Downing told Sky Sports: "The change of manager was a big factor. If Sam (Allardyce) had stayed, then I'm sure he'd have had a good sit down to try to persuade me to stay.
"After speaking to Slaven I didn't get that feeling of someone who really wanted me there. He said, 'I'd love you to stay', but I didn't get the feeling that I got when Sam signed me."
Need a VPN? Or seeking to switch? Then support Tribal Football by clicking here to sign up with our official partners NordVPN. Not only will you receive the best VPN experience, but also great discounts by signing up via Tribal Football. Thanks for your support!