Bayern Munich is 1-0 up on Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League round of 16 after the first leg in Paris, but as fate would have it, it’s recently been revealed that the Rekordmeister very nearly signed one of the Parisians’ players back in 2020.
Per SportBild’s Christian Falk (via @iMiaSanMia), who spoke with Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic, the reigning Bundesliga champions could’ve signed Morocco international Achraf Hakimi before he ultimately wound up going to Inter Milan. At the time, he had made quite a name for himself in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund on loan from Real Madrid and was one of the most in-demand defenders on the transfer market, but the coronavirus pandemic seriously complicated financial matters for Bayern, as well as most clubs across Europe.
When his loan spell at Dortmund ended, Real Madrid wound up selling Hakimi to Inter for a fee of around 43-million euros, which was a figure that was out of Bayern’s price range at that period of time. In hindsight, it’s easy to argue that the Moroccan international is worth even more than that, especially considering that his current market value is 70-million euros, per transfermarkt. It was just under that 70-milion mark that PSG paid for Hakimi to sign him from Inter in the summer transfer window of 2021.
During the summer/fall transfer window ahead of the 2020/21 season, Bayern was still navigating financial losses as a result of the pandemic, and they were finally able to sign Leroy Sane from Manchester City at a considerably discounted price since he had injured his knee the summer before. That was a transfer saga that seemed to have lasted for eons, and it was the focal point of Bayern’s transfer efforts during that extended transfer window. 40 million for Hakimi just wasn’t in the cards, unfortunately.
During that same window where they brought in Sane from Manchester City, Bayern wound up signing Marc Roca and Bouna Sarr, while they also brought in Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Tanguy Nianzou, and Tiago Dantas on free and loan transfers. Because so much effort was exhausted on Sane, in conjunction with the financial losses from the pandemic, there was just no way Bayern could swing 40-million euros for any player, let alone Hakimi.