Footballer Benjamin Mendy has been charged with a further count of rape, it has emerged, as he appeared in court accused of a series of serious sex offences.
The 27-year-old Manchester City player was charged last week with the further count of rape.
This was subject to reporting restrictions, which were lifted as he appeared at Chester Crown Court on Wednesday for a hearing ahead of his trial next year.
The charge relates to a new complainant and is alleged to have taken place in July this year.
Mendy is now accused of eight offences against five different women, including seven counts of rape relating to four women.
The earlier charges are three counts of rape, alleged to have happened on 11 October 2020, sexual touching on 2 January 2021, one count of rape on 24 July 2021 and two counts of rape on 23 August 2021.
Mendy appeared alongside his co-defendant Louis Saha Matturie, 40, of Eccles, Greater Manchester, who is accused of six counts of rape in and one of sexual assault.
The France international defender, of Withinlee Road, Prestbury, Cheshire, has been in custody since his arrest on 26 August.
He appeared in court, wearing a black suit and white shirt, and spoke only to confirm his name during the 40-minute hearing. He followed proceedings via an interpreter.
A proposed trial date of 24 January next year has been rescheduled and his trial will now start on either 27 June or 1 August.
None of the women involved, as complainants of alleged sex offences, can be identified.
Further pre-trial hearings will be held on 7 January and 24 January.
Judge Patrick Thompson remanded both defendants into custody at HMP Altcourse, Liverpool, until 7 January.
Mendy has played for Manchester City since 2017, when he joined from Monaco for a reported £52million.
He was suspended by the club after being charged by police, pending an investigation.