Manchester City and France international footballer Benjamin Mendy has been charged with a further count of rape, a court was told on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old defender was already facing six allegations of rape and one of sexual assault but was charged last week with a seventh rape.

Restrictions on reporting the latest rape charge were lifted as Mendy appeared at Chester Crown Court for a preliminary hearing before his trial next year.

The charges relate to alleged offences against five different women in 2020 and this year.

The footballer who lives in Prestbury, near Macclesfield, northwest England, appeared alongside his co-defendant Louis Saha Matturie, 40, from Eccles, on the outskirts of Manchester.

Matturie is charged with six serious sex offences against young women.

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Both men were remanded in custody after a 40-minute hearing. Their trial, which was scheduled to take place in January, was put back to later next year.

Mendy was a £52 million ($70 million) signing from Monaco in 2017 and has played 75 times for City but his playing time has been limited by injuries and a loss of form.

The last of his 10 caps for France came in November 2019.

The left-back won the World Cup with France in 2018. He has been suspended by the Premier League champions pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings.

AFP

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