The Colombia international was linked with a move to St James’ Park during the January transfer window, even after Chris Wood’s £25million arrival from Burnley.
The rumour has resurfaced in recent days with Eddie Howe keen to add another centre-forward to his ranks before the summer window shuts.
Howe currently has Wood and Callum Wilson at his disposal but it is understood United want to recruit a younger back-up.
Reims star Hugo Ekitike fitted that criteria and a deal looked to be on the table before refusing to meet his agent’s hefty demands.
Zapata, at 31, is the opposite of that, which casts immediate doubt over Il Giorno journalist Fabrizio Carcano’s report.
It’s claimed Newcastle have “came back strong” for Zapata, although Howe is aware of the player’s concerning injury record last season.
Should Newcastle surprisingly pursue a deal for the striker, it’s said the Serie A are seeking £34m.
Zapata could feature at St James’ Park at the end of the month when United entertain Atalanta in a pre-season friendly.