, The arrival of Benjamin Mendy, new number 5 of the Merlus., , https://www.instagram.com/fclorient/?hl=en

Benjamin Mendy signed for French club Lorient on Wednesday after the former Manchester City and France defender was acquitted in a sex offences trial in England last week.

“Lorient are happy to announce today the signing on a two-year deal of the French international left-back Benjamin Mendy,”

The Ligue 1 club said in a statement.

Mendy, 29, was cleared of sex offences last week, ending a three-year court process.

The player, who would have faced a lengthy jail term if convicted, had previously being cleared in January of six counts of rape and one of sexual assault following a six-month trial.

But jurors in that trial had been unable to reach a verdict on two other counts, triggering the retrial that ended last week.

Mendy, whose contract with English and European champions Manchester City expired at the end of June, had denied all the charges against him.

Lorient, 10th behind champions Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 last season, said Mendy would start training from Wednesday after taking a medical.

His arrival at the club comes almost two years after his last match for Manchester City.

Last Friday, at Chester Crown Court in northwest England, the 2018 World Cup winner broke down after the not guilty verdicts on one count of rape and one of sexual assault were delivered.

Mendy, a record signing for a defender when he moved to Manchester City from French club Monaco in 2017, played 75 times for City.

But his playing time was limited by injuries and a loss of form.

The last of his 10 caps for France came in November 2019, after the defender won the World Cup with the national side in 2018 in Russia.

The trials meant that he missed Manchester City’s treble last season of the English Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League.

Source: AFP

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