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Inzaghi: Clean slate for Balotelli

The Italy striker has been linked with a return to the Premier League, but his new coach is prepared to forget any of his previous troubles and grant him a fresh start.

AC Milan boss Filippo Inzaghi says he is prepared to give Mario Balotelli a clean slate after indicating he is not interested in selling his star striker.

The 23-year-old has been linked with a move to Arsenal this summer, just 18 months into a four-and-a-half year deal at San Siro. However, Inzaghi — who replaced Clarence Seedorf in the Rossoneri hot seat earlier this summer — is willing to forget the player's troubled past.

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"Balotelli is a very important player and belongs to Milan," he said. "I'll interact with him in the way I do with other players. I'll forget everything I've heard about him either in a good or a bad way because I want to get to know people to get the best out of them. The club make the decisions, but for me, Mario is a talented guy who plays for Milan and the national team."

Inzaghi, 40, also gave an insight into his plans for the striker this season, as he looks to get the best out of a player who struck 19 times in 43 appearances for club and country last season.

"He should be a second striker because he is the first reference point along with Pazzini," Inzaghi said. "I think we'll stay that way."