CELTIC are poised to unveil midfielder Tomoki Iwata as the club’s SIXTH signing from the J-League.

The highly-rated anchorman is on his way to the champions with reports in Japan claiming an initial £1million deal has already been struck between the Hoops and Yokohama F Marinos.

Iwata, 25, was named the division’s Most Valuable Player last season as he helped his team to the title, as CQN reported at the weekend.

POINTING THE WAY AHEAD…defensive midfielder Tomaki Iwata in action for Yokohama F Marinos.

The defensive middle-of-the-park operator has agreed a five-year contract, according to local media outlet Sponichi, and is expected to be a Celtic player when the transfer window opens on January 1 2023.

Initially, the switch will be on a loan basis with an option to make the deal permanent in the same manner as Daizen Maeda who also joined from Ange Postecoglou’s former J-League outfit a year ago. The switch in January was a temporary arrangement before he signed an extension in the summer.

Iwata, capped four times by his country, is the manager’s second recruit from Japan’s top flight this winter after Vissel Kobe central defender Yuki Kobayashi , 22, signed five-year terms to reunite with his ex-club team-mate Kyogo Furuhashi who was the first player to arrive from the Far East in July last year on a £4.6million switch.

RARIN’ TO GO…central defender Yuki Kobayashi arrived earlier this month.

World Cup forward Maeda and midfielders Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi were paraded as new Bhoys last Hogmanay before their moves were rubberstamped 24 hours later.

Despite his achievements and accolades at club level, Iwata was surprisingly overlooked for Japan’s squad for Qatar – just like his soon-to-be new team-mates Kyogo and Hatate.

According to the media report in his homeland, the Hoops have already secured a work permit for the versatile performer and he will undergo a medical in the UK before the deal is ratified.

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