Manchester City player Benjamin Mendy was secretly moved to one of the roughest prisons in the UK after concerns over his safety, according to reports.
The 27-year-old defender, who remains in custody, is charged with seven counts of rape and one count of sexual assault and is set to appear in court on Friday.
Mendy had been at Category-B HMP Altcourse in Liverpool and was there until 23rd December.
However, The Sun now reports that the France international was switched from HMP Altcourse to Strangeways before Christmas.
Mendy was moved to Strangeways, officially known as HMP Manchester, due to growing fears over his safety.
Strangeways is a top-security prison and previously hosted notorious serial killer Harold Shipman and Manchester serial rapist Reynhard Sinaga.
Mendy and co-defendant Louis Saha Matturie, who is facing six counts of rape and one for sexual assault, were both reportedly driven to Strangeways on 23rd December.
According to The Sun, both Mendy and Saha were moved because “their case is so high profile” and “Category A conditions might be better equipped” for their safety.
A source told the newspaper: “He won’t know what’s hit him coming from Altcourse, which is a privately run prison.
“It’s one of the toughest jails in the country. His other problem will be the amount of Man United fans in there.
“They will be screaming his name for weeks so he won’t be getting much sleep, especially as he’s charged with sex offences.
“There are a lot of Blues’ fans there as well, but even the most avid will struggle to protect an alleged sex offender.”
Mendy, who arrived at the Etihad in 2017 from Monaco, was suspended by City last August after he was charged by police.
The former Marseille and Monaco player’s charges of seven counts of rape and one count of sexual assault relate to five women.
Both Mendy and Matturie will appear in court on Friday and a hearing will be held for bail arrangements and custody time.
The trial preparation and a plea will be heard on 24th January, with the trial scheduled to start on either 27th June or 1st August.
Featured Image Credit: PA
Benjamin Mendy, Manchester City, Premier League