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Daily Schmankerl: Adrien Rabiot was too expensive; Bayern Munich eyeing AS Roma’s Nicolo Zaniolo; Borussia Dortmund’s meltdown; and MORE!

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One more day until Bayern squares off with FC Augsburg!

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Why Bayern backed off Rabiot for winter transfer (kicker)

When looking into acquiring Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot, Bayern Munich ultimately decided the 23-year-old was too expensive. It is being speculated that the overall price (transfer fee + salary) is what turned off Die Roten.

In the winter, Bayern had checked a transfer on Adrien Rabiot, but then rejected it as it was financially too expensive. The Paris St. Germain Frenchman will change in the summer without a transfer (fee), because he did not want to extend his expiring contract and thus fell out of favor with PSG.

The Münchner Merkur went a bit further in detailing that Rabiot’s salary demands were just not in line with that Bayern would want to pay him.

But even from a supposed “bargain” deal in the summer, (Bayern) has taken distance. The reason is the completely overdone salary expectations of the 23-year-old.

It has not been a good time for Rabiot on the possible transfer front. FC Barcelona has also reportedly backed out of the running for the Frenchman after securing Ajax starlet Frenkie de Jong. However, it does look as if Arsenal, Liverpool, and Tottenham Hotspur remain interested in the 23-year-old.

Bayern scoping Roma starlet (Münchner Merkur)

In an effort to re-load its roster with young talent, Bayern has taken a look to Italy where AS Roma’s Nicolo Zaniolo is opening some eyes — especially after scoring a Champions League brace against FC Porto.

Zaniolo is 19 years old and has recently become a starter at the Serie A top club. The offensive player already caused a stir in the fall of 2018, when he was nominated by Italy coach Roberto Mancini for Nation League games.

Nicolo Zaniolo is regarded as flexible offensively, so the hopeful talent can play both the wings, as well as act on the center forward position. This would pre-destine the Italian national player for the role as backup of Robert Lewandowski.

Sounds good, eh? The youngster is draw some pretty lofty comparisons as well.

Comparisons have already been made between Zaniolo and AS Roma club legend Francesco Totti.

Die Folgen: Assessing Dortmund (Bavarian Football Works)

To provide an obvious understatement, that was not a good showing for Borussia Dortmund against Tottenham Hotspur yesterday. Getting throttled 3-0 almost assuredly guarantees that the German side will be looking to focus solely on winning the Bundesliga unless there is a miracle scoring outburst in the return leg. Regardless, even capturing the Bundesliga might not be so easy any more.

While the thigh injury to Marco Reus is not major, his absence from the Dortmund lineup was yesterday. Without Reus, BVB did not look like the fearless, attacking side that had rolled through the Hinrunde. People can praise the emergence of Jadon Sancho and the resurgence of Mario Gotze and even talk about how the midfield pairing of Axel Witsel and Thomas Delaney has provided stability, but without Reus Dortmund has no fire...no life. At least not yesterday.

This is not to gloat or pile on; Bayern could very well find itself in a similar position next week against a far superior English side in Liverpool. The most disturbing thing for Dortmund followers had to be that Tottenham just appeared to assert itself physically on BVB with no response from the visitors.

If Bayern is to make a serious run at Dortmund in the league, it will have to be now. BVB’s confidence is down (as displayed by recent performances across the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, and Champions League) and its form on the field is just not up to the standard it set earlier in the season. With a little help along the way, maybe a seventh straight league crown isn’t so impossible after all for the Bavarians.

Frankfurt fans get wild (@dw_sports)

I have somehow never seen this video, but it’s impressive. Eintracht Frankfurt fans literally made the stadium shake. Die Adler are visiting Shakhtar Donetsk later today for a Europa League match.

ICYMI: The journey of Chris Richards (Bavarian Football Works)

If you didn’t catch this, you should. Take a look at the journey that Chris Richards made from Alabama to Bavaria and everywhere in between. Bayern, Chris, his family, and his former coach Eric Quill gave us great access to tell the story on how the American made the jump to Germany.