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The PSG team that wasn’t

Bayern Munich might have faced a much more loaded foe in the Champions League.

Borussia Dortmund v Chelsea - UEFA Champions Round of 16, 1st leg Photo by Marcel ter Bals/Orange Pictures

Bayern Munich’s Champions League knockout contest against Paris Saint-Germain might have easily looked very different had the Parisians maneuvered more precisely at the close of the January transfer window.

The German Rekordmeister played part of the first leg against a PSG team missing Kylian Mbappé, and now Neymar Jr. is a doubt for the second leg in Munich. Christophe Galtier will have to scour his roster for answers and decide if a more conservative approach will still be the way forward.

But that roster might have been significantly more stacked. Inter Milan center-back Milan Škriniar is arriving at Paris in the summer on a free — but only because PSG were ultimately unwilling to pay the Italian club’s demands for an immediate move.

Even more dramatically, Chelsea FC agreed to send dynamic left-footed attacker Hakim Ziyech (formerly of Ajax) to Paris on loan — only for the deal to fall through due to late paperwork.

Ziyech and Škriniar are two class players that might have changed the dynamic considerably. Bayern are missing players too due to injury, but by contrast, they managed to secure the late additions of Ajax’s Daley Blind, Gladbach’s Yann Sommer, and Manchester City’s João Cancelo. The latter? On loan, paperwork filed on time.

On March 8, the two European heavyweights will finally settle the score for this Champions League season. Could the late transfer window frenzy loom large over the outcome?

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