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Ex-Man City player Benjamin Mendy joins Lorient days after being cleared of rape

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 19 Jul 2023

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Former Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy has signed a two-year deal with French club Lorient, five days after being cleared of rape.

Mendy left City last month at the expiration of his contract, having not played for the Premier League and Champions League winners since 2021.

The 29-year-old was cleared of rape and attempted rape at Chester Crown Court last Friday.

Mendy, who progressed through Le Harve’s academy before establishing himself during three seasons at Marseille, joined City in 2017 for a reported fee of £52million after a solitary campaign with Monaco.

He would go on to be involved in three Premier League title wins with Pep Guardiola’s side but his last appearance occurred during the opening game of the 2021-22 in defeat at Tottenham.

Later that same month, Mendy was reprimanded in custody after being charged with four counts of rape and one count of sexual assault in August 2021.

City suspended the French full-back, who was granted bail the following January but only after being charged with three more counts of rape.

In May 2022, Mendy pleaded not guilty to seven charges of rape, one attempted rape and one sexual assault.

The next month he was charged with another count of rape, and in September he was found not guilty on one charge of rape.

Mendy was found not guilty of six counts of rape and one court of sexual assault in January, but the same jury could not reach a verdict on another count of rape and one count of attempted rape.

It saw a retrial and last week Mendy was found not guilty of one charge of rape and one charge of attempted rape, which has allowed the defender to resume his professional career.

Lorient finished 10th in Ligue 1 last season under Regis Le Bris and the player will begin work with his new club on Wednesday.

“FC Lorient is pleased to announce today the signing for two seasons of French international left-back Benjamin Mendy,” a club statement read.

“The native of Longjumeau, who will wear number five with the Merlus, will take his first steps at Espace FCL today. Welcome Benjamin!”

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