Mario Balotelli could be set to stay at AC Milan

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Arsenal and Liverpool look set to miss out on the signing of Mario Balotelli this summer, according to recent reports.

Controversial Italian frontman Balotelli - who scored his country's only goal in what was a hugely disappointing 20124 World Cup campaign for the Azzurri in Brazil - has been heavily linked with both Premier League giants in recent months, yet according to The Daily Express, new AC Milan boss Filllipo Inzaghi sees the player as part of his plans for the future at the San Siro.

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Inzaghi faith

A former Rossonneri striker himself, Inzaghi - who replaced fellow club legend Clarence Seedorf as manager of AC Milan last month - knows only too well what it takes to be successful at a club where fans demand success and it seems that the 40-year-old believes Balotelli has what it takes to ignore the critics and prove successful at the club.

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

"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."

Last year was a very difficult one indeed for AC Milan, with the club having dismissed Maximiliano Allegri and eventually finished up eighth in the Serie A standings.

Balotelli, with 14 goals in 30 domestic performances, was often one of their better performers but seemed to draw criticism from the club's hierarchy on more than one occasion.

Watch: The latest Arsenal transfer news

Arsenal/Liverpool striker interest

Both Arsenal and Liverpool have been in the market to improve their attacking options this summer, with the latter having completed the bargain capture of Southampton and England striker Rickie Lambert prior to the World Cup.

However, with Luiz Suarez having now officially left Anfield to move to Catalan giants Barcelona, it appears that manager Brendan Rodgers will have to further bolster his forward line if the club are to compete for honours next season.

Arsenal, meanwhile, announced a major signing of their own yesterday, with Alexis Sanchez having arrived at the Emirates Stadium following a move from La Liga.

While Arsene Wenger is rumoured to be eager to transform the Chilean into an out-and-out striker, it still seems likely that the Gunners will continue to look to provide competition for Olivier Giroud.

£30 million-rated Balotelli, though, may just be off the market with Inzaghi keen to see him make the difference for Milan.

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Mario Balotelli
AC Milan
Premier League

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