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Can Inzaghi rebuild Normal Mario?

Mario Balotelli Italy

Next season could be crucial in Mario Balotelli's career and if he stays with AC Milan it will fall to Pippo Inzaghi to keep the troubled marksman on track.

It is beginning to look like AC Milan may be stuck with Mario Balotelli, so the onus will fall on new boss Pippo Inzaghi to inspire him.

Milan had expected to sell Balotelli in the summer and were reportedly close to agreeing a £28 million deal with Arsenal before the World Cup.

But Balotelli summed up Italy's World Cup campaign with his inconsistent and at times outright lethargic performances and Milan president Silvio Berlusconi admitted that a deal was now off the table.

It has also been suggested that Balotelli's wage demands were the root cause of the deal breaking down.

While Turkish outfit Galatasaray have been linked with Balotelli, finances may be an issue and new boss Cesare Prandelli, who coached Italy in Brazil, may not be too keen to be reunited with a player he has publicly maligned.

The Corriere della Sera has labelled Balotelli, 'Normal Mario' and asks whether Inzaghi will be able to relaunch his career, which appears to be stalling.

Inzaghi has been upbeat about the possibility of coaching Balotelli, but it represents a massive test for a man in his first senior role.

Former poacher extraordinaire Inzaghi knows what it takes to find the net regularly, but temperamentally he is very different to Balotelli and having risen up from Milan's youth team he will have become used to working with a more humble breed of player.

Balotelli's 2013-14 campaign was by no means a disaster and he managed 14 goals for a team that didn't even manage Europa League qualification, but it was his demeanour on the field and controversy off the field that attracted criticism.

Inzaghi will have his hands full if he is to bring back the focussed, goal-hungry Balotelli of previous seasons, but if he succeeds it will show that he has the man-management skills needed to coach at the very top.

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