To offset Velkovski loss, Rabotnichki adds Ristevski

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Ristevski playing for Macedonia in 2014Ristevski playing for Macedonia in 2014Defender Kire Ristevski has been signed by Rabotnichki to help fill in for the departed Darko Velkovski.

Kire Ristevski has the ability to play center-back and left-back, but he is moving to Rabotnichki to play in central defense. The club used some of the transfer fee that it received for Velkovski to sign Ristevski to a flexible one year contract.

Ristevski became available after he was not paid the agreed upon salary by his now former club Tirana. He received his documents after filing a grievance with FIFA, allowing him to sign elsewhere. Tirana rejects those allegations, but Ristevski remains steadfast that he was not paid since he moved to Tirana this past winter.

After rumors circulated that Ristevski had joined Rabotnichki, we contacted the player to ask him that question. It is very difficult to separate fact from fiction when it comes to Rabotnichki because the club does not have a web site. It's the 21st century for goodness sakes, but only Vardar and Shkendija have functioning web sites. Only TWO out of TEN teams in the top division. Living abroad, web sites are something we take for granted since you expect every team to have one, but that is a luxury for Macedonian clubs. That's why there is little info on this site on the domestic front, besides Vardar and Shkendija. We'd like to report on the other teams, but it's hard to separate what is true and what is BS.

Going back to Ristevski, he said, "Yes, it's all finished" when we asked him about whether he has signed with Rabotnichki. However, as other players before him, he has a flexible contract. He may leave after the Europa League qualifications this summer. Kire would like to play abroad, but he felt his best chance towards achieving that was to join Rabotnichki. He will look to impress during the Europa League qualifiers, and then be sold abroad. In that way, Rabotnichki can cash in on their investment, and Kire can move to another country. Now, if no transfer happens later this summer, then Ristevski will play for Rabotnichki until the winter when both sides will try once again to sell Kire.

Flexible contracts are part of Rabotnichki's philosophy. That is one way they recruit players. They don't stand in the way when good offers come in. The timing doesn't matter. If a good offer arrives for Bazhe Ilijoski from Asia, then he will move there, even if it's one week before a Europa League qualifier. The same is true for the other lads on the roster. That's how Rabotnichki survives as a club.

Ristevski has been capped four times by the Macedonian national team. Furthermore, he was included in the first squad under new manager Ljubinko Drulović, but he was an unused substitute in the 2:1 loss to Slovakia on June 14.

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