As we are in the winter transfer window, the First League participants are looking to strengthen their squads and therefore there are many speculations about the possible reinforcements.
Here are some of the rumoured players that speculations link them with the Macedonian top division clubs. Some already signed, while some rumours may turn into reality.
The table leaders already signed three national team players: keeper Tome Pacovski, who is currently number 1 in the national team, winger Dejan Blazhevski who lost the national place while underperforming in Azerbaijan, and central midfielder Stefan Spirovski who struggled for playing time at Borac and Beroe. Vardar won’t stop here and is looking for more new players. Just yesterday it was reported that negotiations with another national team player, central defender Daniel Mojsov, ended unsuccessfully due to the financial differences. Always after national team players, Mirko Ivanovski is the last team linked with Vardar. Supposedly the attacker is negotiating with the board and if he agrees to terms he will be a great addition to the squad. Back in the team after a 6 months loan at Turnovo is central defender Stojan Stojchevski. Rumours are linking the Red&Blacks with some players from Africa and South America, but still no names have been revealed.
The holders already lost 4 players among which 2 very important. Winger Tauljant Sulejmanov signed for Young Boys, while keeper Damjan Shishkovski for Gent. Croatian central defender Igor Gal failed to impress and was released, while 18-year old forward Erblin Shakjiri went to Shkendija. A replacement for Shishkovski was quickly found in Andreja Efremov of Metalurg, one of the most promissing Macedonian goalkeepers. The Debar Maalo side is rumored to be in negotiations with Bazhe Ilijoski, the striker that last summer left the club to join Thai side Bangkok Glass. He is definitely leaving Thailand and may come back to Rabotnichki. One of the best attacking midfielders in the league, the experienced 29-year old Izair Emini of Renova is also linked with the Club Hero. If these two really join Rabotnichki, the team will only have to find another central defender as currently there are only Milan Ilievski, Ninoslav Dodevski and Darko Velkovski (who’s natural position actualy is in the midfield). Striker Marjan Altiparmakovski was linked with Azeri side İnter Bakı and his departure may be another blow to the team as he showed great performaces in the first half-season by scoring 10 goals. Not to forget that his partner in the front line, Aco Stojkov (9 goals in 11 games), may also leave but only if a good offer comes from a foreign club.
The new owners already proved that they are willing to spend, but so far they failed to get the right players. To left back Yani Urdinov, Bulgarian central defender Martin Kavdanski and winger Elvir Nurishi the board thanked for their contribution. So far the club brought only young players such as Rabotnichki’s forward Erblin Shakjiri and Shkupi’s duo Besir Demiri (central midfielder) and Mevljan Adili (left/central defender), the last two have appearances for the Macedonian U21 national team. When it comes to rumours, the strongest is the one of Stefan Ashkovski. Partizan’s left back, who play as left winger in the Macedonia U21, supposedly already agreed to join the club on loan and now only Partizan has to approve the deal. So far the Serbian giants were always sending him on loan in clubs around Serbia, but since July he was sent to Norwegian side Strømsgodset where he failed to appear in any game. As Shkendija is looking to heal the left back position, Aleksandar Lazevski was also linked with the club and Kire Ristevski as well but seems like Ashkovski is their first choice. A problem may appear as Bulgarian side Lokomotiv from Sofia is apparently interested in Yordan Miliev. The central defender has a solid contract with Shkendija, but Lokomotiv may offer even more plus he can play in his homeland.
The Kratovo based club is still hibernating. Right midfielder Ivanche Nasevski came back from the loan at Kozhuf Miravci, while defensive midfielder Stefan Maglovski and right winger Kristijan Kostovski were released. All of this happened before the New Year. Sileks usually goes on shopping in neighbouring Serbia, so it is expected that some players from there to come on trial.
One thing is sure when it comes to the Metallurgists: they won’t be spending money! Metalurg is in crisis and will rely on the players from the youth academy. So far goalkeeper Andreja Efremov left for Rabotnichki, while the club is trying to sell their other star players, 19-year old right winger Marjan Radeski. The rest of the season depends on his transfer: if Metalurg sells Radeski, who already has 3 senior national team appearances, they will have money to bring some reinforcement. Currently, only 4 players are older than 25 years: captain Mile Krstev (35), Aleksandar Stojanovski (28), Vasko Mitrev (30) and Dejan Leskaroski (29). It must be noted that all players are available for sale.
Not many speculations regarding Renova. Midfielder Fljamur Tairi and forward Antonio Bujchevski left the club, while Izair Emini is on the radar of Rabotnichki. Renova doesn’t seem to have big ambitions this season, but other clubs will have to offer good contracts to its players as it is widely known that Renova is one of the best Macedonian clubs when it comes to wages and all other benefits that a player can get. Last summer they weren’t much active on the transfer market, the same it is expected now.
Forward Sashko Dukov from Vardar Negotino (Third League South) is the first winter signing. After 6 and a half years in the club, goalkeeper Stojan Dimovski left Turnovo, while the loan period of central defender Stojan Stojchevski loan ended and he got back to Vardar. Similar as Renova, Turnovo is still out of speculations regarding the possible reinforcements.
The pride of Bitola has a new sponsor, but still no big transfer had been made. Gjoko Hadjievski was hired as manager and that should be the biggest reinforcement. Nine players were released: Vladica Brdarovski, Kiril Dinchev, Boško Stupić, Goran Ganchev, Dimche Ristevski, Dejan Velevski, Goce Todorovski, Toni Maglovski and Blagojche Glavevski, while so far only 3 signed, all of them young players: central midfielder Ljupche Trpeski from the Third League South-West side of Vulkan and Serbian players Nikola Mitić (defensive midfielder) and Igor Stanojević (winger). Of course Pelister will yet bring more players. There are strong rumours for Kire Ristevski (central defender/left back), but our latest info is that he is close to signing for Albanian side Flamurtari. Also Yani Urdinov is speculated that is negotiating with the Green&White club. According to daily newspaper Makedonski Sport, Pelister may sign Antonio Bujchevski (forward, left Renova), Aleksandar Pandovski (left midfielder, free agent) and Slavcho Velkovski (right midfielder, Bregalnica).
The Blues from Shtip seem uninterested in making transfers. They managed to lose probably their best player in central midfielder Riste Markoski who went to strengthen Second League side Vlazrimi. The club also released Zoran Matić, Milan Jovanović, Nemanja Stošković and Viktor Talevski. The financial situation is unknown in Bregalnica and therefore we can’t predict whether the club will go after solid players or will just take what is left. Supposedly Pelister is interested in right midfielder Slavcho Velkovski, one of the better players in the squad. If they loose Velkovski after Markoski, Bregalnica will have to start spending money in order to strengten the team.
First to leave the dead last side were the Brazilian duo Jayme Juan Alves da Silva and Luiz Fernando Alves “Nandinho”. Another possible departure is the 17-year old striker Martin Hristov. As a big talent he was on trial at Serie B side Virtus Entella where he showed great performances and may be bought by the Italians after his 18th birthday (31 January). Teteks has too many players in their roster and therefore it is expected more departures. The club will most probably get relegated, but it doesn’t mean that they will surrender and be inactive in the transfer market as they are in the semi-final of the Macedonian Cup and their goal this season is to win the Cup and thus qualify for the Europa League.
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