Benjamin Mendy signs for Ligue 1 club after being cleared of rape

Benjamin Mendy signs for new club after being cleared of rape
Benjamin Mendy has joined Lorient - Getty Images/Oli Scarff

Benjamin Mendy has signed a two-year deal with French club FC Lorient five days after being cleared of raping a woman and attempting to rape another.

The 29-year-old’s arrival was announced on the Ligue 1 team’s website, declaring “Welcome Benjamin!” to the former Manchester City left-back, who was suspended at the Etihad Stadium after he was arrested.

He was cleared at Chester Crown Court after a three-week trial and has since passed a medical at his new club and will join their pre-season ahead of the campaign starting in a month.

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

“After having satisfied the traditional medical examination, Benjamin Mendy, world champion 2018, winner of the Premier League under the colours of Manchester City and French champion of Ligue 1 with Monaco in particular, comes to reinforce the Lorient workforce for this new season.”

Lorient have confirmed Mendy will wear the No.5 shirt and start pre-season training on Wednesday, almost two years since he last featured in a match when he started in City’s defeat at Tottenham in August 2021. Lorient’s first match of the season is against Paris Saint-Germain.

He was suspended after being accused of attacking a 24-year-old woman at his £4 million mansion in Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire in October 2020. Mendy was also accused of the attempted rape of another woman, aged 29. He was also cleared of six rape charges at an earlier trial in January.

Mendy praised God in his only comment outside the court after the not guilty verdicts were read out last week. He has been a free agent since his contract with City expired this month, leaving him free to talk to other clubs about playing next season.

At City, he has three Premier League winners’ medals and also won the World Cup with France during his time at the Etihad Stadium.