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The former Manchester City forward has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal, but his new manager wants him to lead his side back to the top of the European game

Newly-appointed AC Milan coach Filippo Inzaghi believes Mario Balotelli still has a role to play at the Serie A club despite interest from a number of English sides.

Goal understands Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger met with Balotelli's agent Mino Raiola while working as a pundit at the World Cup, though Milan club president Silvio Berlusconi has admitted the striker's performances in Brazil have put pay to any possible deal.

Liverpool have also been linked with the forward as they look for a replacement for the departing Luis Suarez, but Inzaghi admitted he has spoken to the former Manchester City man regarding his plans for the upcoming campaign.

"Balotelli? I’m calm, I spoke to him after Italy’s elimination," he told reporters. "The criticisms have to make him stronger. I went through some tough times as a player, was criticised, but they [the criticisms] made me grow.

"He’s an asset to the Italian game and Milan. I have to utilise his skills - he can make the difference. He has asked for a trainer a week before he returns to Milanello and this is important."

The former Azzurri international also claimed that Milan are the most successful club in world football as he looks to take his first steps into management.

Inzaghi replaces former team-mate Clarence Seedorf at San Siro after the Dutchman was sacked, and he wants to lift the team back to the top of both the Italian and European game.

"I’ve become the coach of the most successful club in the world, no-one should forget what Milan is about.

"The most important thing is to create the right Milan DNA again. This means the right group spirit, coming to Milanello to train well.

"I want see the right spirit and return to winning ways. To do this we need a good group. At the moment my main objective is to create a solid group with principles and a respect for the supporters.

"I hope that my great desire to win is received by the players. I’m sure of it. When I accepted the job, I thought about the team that I have and the personal values. Tactics and technique come after."