Benjamin Mendy has made an instant return to football just five days after being cleared of rape and attempted rape, as he signed a two-year deal with French club Lorient.
Recall that the 28-year-old defender was accused of carrying out sex attacks on two women at his £4 million mansion, only to be cleared after three hours of deliberation by a jury at Chester Crown Court last Friday.
The France international had already been cleared of six counts of rape and one count of sexual assault after a court case in January.
And five days after being cleared as a free man, Mendy has already returned to football after signing with Lorient.
In a club statement on Wednesday, the Ligue 1 outfit confirmed he has put pen to paper on a two-year contract and will wear the No 5 shirt.
The club’s statement read: “FC Lorient is pleased to announce today the signing for two seasons of French international left-back Benjamin Mendy.
“After having satisfied the traditional medical examination, Benjamin Mendy, world champion 2018, quadruple winner of the Premier League under the colors of Manchester City and French champion of Ligue 1 with Monaco in particular, comes to reinforce the Lorient workforce for this new season.
“The native of Longjumeau, who will wear number 5 with the Merlus, will take his first steps at Espace FCL today. Welcome Benjamin!”
Mendy joined Manchester City for £52 million in 2017, inking a £100k-a-week deal when arriving from Monaco. But he was released at the end of June when his contract ended. He last played for City in August 2021.
His switch to Lorient marks a return to France, where all of his experience prior to his spell at City came. The right-back has represented Le Havre, Marseille and as mentioned, Monaco over the course of his illustrious career. He played a starring role in the Monaco side that stunned French football by winning Ligue 1 in 2017.
Mendy wept when he was cleared last week, with his lawyers saying he will now go on to ‘rebuild his life’.
The emotional star declined to comment outside court only to say: ‘Alhamdulillah’ – an Arabic phrase meaning: ‘Praise be to God’.