Mario Mandzukic
Mandzukic scored 18 goals last season but is surplus to requirements at Bayern.

Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith insists Arsene Wenger should refrain from signing Mario Balotelli this summer and should instead plump for Bayern Munich's Mario Mandzukic.

Both Balotelli and Mandzukic have been heavily linked with moves to the Emirates Stadium this summer with Wenger expected to make a new striker among his priorities ahead of the new season.

And Smith – who scored 87 goals in 242 appearances for Arsenal across an eight-year career in north London – says Mandzukic represents a safer option than Balottelli.

"When I saw that I thought 'that cannot be right' Balotelli doesn't strike me as an Arsene Wenger player at all," the ex-Arsenal forward told talkSPORT. "He's someone who commands the headlines and there's always something going on in his life off the pitch off the field.

"He's a great player on his day but, for me, he doesn't have enough of them. I haven't watched him closely in Serie A this season but I just can't see him at Arsenal.

"Wenger surely will be bringing in a striker this summer, hopefully a very good one it's just who. There are some out there at the moment; just look at the likes of Mandzukic could be available. But Balotelli? I don't think so."

Mandzukic's future has been thrown into doubt after Bayern confirmed the summer arrival of Robert Lewandowski from Borussia Dortmund, with the Croatian international already having a peripheral role at the Allianz Arena.

The 28 year old – who will lead the Croatia attack during the upcoming World Cup finals in Brazil – scored 18 goals in 21 league starts last term but after being left out of the Bayern squad for the German Cup final appears likely to leave the club this summer.

Meanwhile, Balotelli's future at Milan is uncertain with a decision over the future of current coach Clarence Seedorf still to be made.

The ex-Manchester City striker scored 14 goals in 30 league games for Milan last season but his questionable attitude, which overshadowed his first spell in English football, is expected to deter Arsenal from bringing the 23 year old back to the Premier League.