Manchester City and France footballer Benjamin Mendy denied nine sexual offences against six young women as he appeared in court on Monday.
The 27-year-old player stood in the dock at Chester Crown Court and repeated “Not guilty” as the charges were put to him and he entered pleas for the first time.
The defender denies seven counts of rape, one count of sexual assault and one count of attempted rape, relating to six complainants.
All the alleged offences are said to have taken place at his home address near Macclesfield, northwest England, between October 2018 and August 2021.
Mendy entered his pleas during a hearing on Monday ahead of his trial, scheduled to begin later this year.
He will go before a jury on 25 July along with his co-defendant Louis Saha Matturie (40), who also entered not-guilty pleas to all charges.
Matturie denies eight counts of rape and four counts of sexual assault, relating to eight young women. His alleged offences span from July 2012 to August last year.
After both defendants entered their pleas, the hearing went into private session with media excluded from the courtroom.
Mendy joined Premier League champions City from French club Monaco in 2017. He has played 75 times for the club, 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, after the defender won the World Cup in 2018.
Mendy was suspended by City after being charged by police.
Both defendants are on bail.