In the end, Santosh Manik's much-anticipated transfer was a slight letdown as his fee reached just S$367000 from Italian Division Seven side Mazzolandia, which the club blamed on Manik's injury and a generally tight financial climate. The Birds had Lithuanian Division Five club kauno.kaunas. to thank for pushing the price as far as it went, one described as a right steal by Niculae Stanca
"It's quite a bit less than we expected, but if Manik fulfils his potential at Mazzolandia, we're more than happy to take the loss on our books." Stanca commented. "He was the best to come from our academy for some time, even if Fang Tong Rong and Chew Long Lai aren't far behind."
The teenaged forward did not lack for suitors, as neighbouring clubs Ropelearner FC and Heruko both sniffed about. However, the serious bids came from overseas, as kicsikacsák (Hungarian Division Six), Korona Zacisze (Polish Division Eight), ESV DD (German Division Six), FC HYDRO CLUJ (Romanian Division Eight), Fuks Poznań (Polish Division Seven), F.C. West side Ortona (Italian Division Eight), churreria puerta de cuatos (Spanish Division Nine) and Whiskeria Club LOS ANGELES (Spanish Division Eight) all came in for him.
Manik himself was just delighted to be able to get his career off the ground immediately, even as he admitted that he had harboured hopes of following in Mohd Safri bin Mohd Kassim
and Tian Yonghang
"The coaches told me that I might have very long to wait had I stayed, though. Mazzolandia have a long and proud history and are starting afresh with a group of youngsters, and if Benedetto Cioccarelli's development since arriving from Paolana FC is any indication, I will learn a lot here!"