Former Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy signed a contract with Ligue 1 side Lorient on Wednesday. The French fullback agreed to a two-year deal with Les Merlus just five days after being acquitted of rape. Lorient finished 10th in the French top flight last season.

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

“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.”

Frenchman was previously most expensive defender

Mendy previously joined Manchester City in 2017 in a deal from Monaco worth around $67 million. At the time it was the most expensive transfer for a defender in the history of the game. The Frenchman collected three Premier League titles during his stay with City. Nevertheless, Mendy recently departed the English side after his contract with the club expired. He last played for the Premier League champs nearly two years ago.

City suspended Mendy in August of 2021 after British police arrested him because of rape allegations. The Frenchman remained in custody for five months at the time. Jurors in the initial trial of the case could not come to a verdict on the multiple counts of rape and attempted rape. This forced a re-trial which just concluded last week. A jury acquitted Mendy of the charges and eventually released.

Mendy may play one more match in England with Lorient

Although the player opted to depart England, he may be set for a match on the South Coast in August. Lorient will face Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium on August 5th. The French side will then open their Ligue 1 campaign with a tough test against reigning champions Paris Saint-Germain a week later.