Merseyside Police are set to investigate after Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli was subjected to apparent racial abuse on Twitter.
The Italian forward took to the social media website on Sunday to tweet his thoughts on rivals Manchester United's shock 5-3 defeat to Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.
"Man Utd LOL [laugh out loud]," the 24-year-old wrote.
The post attracted a number of abusive replies, many of which were then deleted - though a number were copied and shared by eagle-eyed users.
And Merseyside Police have revealed through their own official Twitter account that they will launch a probe into the abuse.
They wrote: "We can confirm officers are looking into offensive comments made on Twitter about Mario Balotelli earlier today."
Balotelli has been the victim of abuse on a number of occasions throughout his career.
The Italy international faced offensive chants during Milan's clash with Roma in May 2013, and was forced to hit back at one fan for describing him as "not Italian" following his country's 2014 World Cup exit.comments