Veteran La Liga goalkeeper re-emerges as a reliable option for Barcelona

Rayo Vallecano's North Macedonian goalkeeper #01 Stole Dimitrievski holds the ball next to Barcelona's Spanish midfielder #08 Pedri during the Spanish league football match between Rayo Vallecano de Madrid and FC Barcelona on November 25, 2023.
Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

In the world of football, decisions are made with meticulous care, especially at FC Barcelona. As the Blaugranes plan for the next season, one key debate revolves around the goalkeeper position.

The Catalan club is currently weighing whether to continue with Iñaki Peña as a backup or to pursue a more experienced replacement for Ter Stegen.

As highlighted by Mundo Deportivo, one name emerges from the shadows: Stole Dimitrievski, the seasoned Macedonian goalkeeper plying his trade at Rayo Vallecano. With his contract set to expire on June 30, Dimitrievski presents an intriguing option for Barcelona—no transfer fee, La Liga experience, and a solid reputation.

Dimitrievski’s journey to this potential opportunity is fraught with near-misses and untaken paths. Back in January 2022, he stood on the brink of a move to Barcelona, with personal terms agreed and only the contract awaiting his signature.

Alas, fate intervened, and Neto’s decision to stay put halted the transfer in its tracks. Dimitrievski himself also reflected on his failed Barcelona move: “I reached an agreement with Barça, everything was ready, and only the contract was left to sign.”

Now, two years later, Dimitrievski finds himself at a crossroads once again. Despite his desire to remain loyal to Rayo Vallecano, where he has been a stalwart figure, negotiations for a contract extension remain unresolved. The 30-year-old Macedonian goalkeeper’s future hangs in the balance:

“My idea has always been to stay at Rayo for many years and finish my career here. We are talking and discussing, and as long as we reach an agreement, I will continue at Rayo. There is a 90% chance that I will stay at Rayo on my part, but we will also have to ask the president.”

On the field, Dimitrievski’s performance speaks volumes. His 26 appearances in the current league campaign have showcased his skill and reliability, conceding 36 goals while keeping a clean sheet on nine occasions.

As the Catalan giants weigh their options in the transfer market, securing Dimitrievski’s services without a transfer fee could prove to be a shrewd move. However, Barcelona must move quickly to capitalize on this opportunity, as the likelihood of him leaving his current club is slim.

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