Benjamin Mendy joins Lorient after leaving Manchester City.

Benjamin Mendy, a former Manchester City defender, has joined for Ligue 1 club Lorient just five days after being cleared of rape.

The left-back, 29, signed a two-year contract with the French club after his contract with City expired in the summer.

On Friday, he was found not guilty of raping one lady and attempted to rape another at Chester Crown Court.

Following a trial in January, Mendy was found not guilty of six counts of rape and one count of sexual assault.

When City paid Monaco £52 million to buy France defender Mendy in 2017, he became the world’s most expensive defender.

Txiki Begiristain, City’s director of football, praised him as “one of the world’s best full-backs” when he signed.

He won the Premier League in his first season with City before joining the France group that won the World Cup in Russia in 2018.

He last played competitive football in August 2021, for City against Tottenham Hotspur.

Mendy was caught later that month and held in detention for five months before his first trial in August.

After jurors failed to reach convictions on two counts of rape and attempted rape, he was retried and acquitted last week.

The portrait of him drawn during the hearing prompted his own legal team, led by Eleanor Laws KC, to admit that “life, as he knew it, was over, in football in the UK.”

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