“On Sunday 17 December 2017, police were made aware that a 23-year-old man had been subject to a racially aggravated assault,” a police spokesman said.
The Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported that Sterling was apparently kicked and racially abused as he arrived at City’s Etihad Campus on Saturday morning before their 4-1 win over Tottenham, during which the attacker scored twice.
The report said a man appeared to be waiting for the 23-year-old England international as he arrived at the training ground to prepare for the game.
The newspaper said it is understood that Sterling got out of his car to ask what the problem was but was then kicked in the leg.
City have not commented on the matter and a formal complaint has not yet been lodged but police confirmed they are treating it as “a hate crime”.
“While an official report has not yet been made, enquiries will be carried out and officers are treating it as a hate crime.”
Sterling has been one of the stars of City’s record-breaking season, scoring 15 goals in all competitions as Pep Guardiola’s side have romped clear at the top of the Premier League and racked up 16 straight league wins.