Zheng Zhi is a free agent after leaving Charlton in the summer
China captain Zheng Zhi has been granted a work permit and is now free to finalise a move to Celtic.
The 29-year-old, who can play in defence and midfield, left English League One outfit Charlton Athletic when his contract expired in June.
Celtic manager Tony Mowbray aims to sign free agent Zheng in time to face Dundee United on 12 September.
However, he will not be able to play in Celtic's Europa League group games as he has not been registered in time.
"I'm delighted that he may join us. He will significantly add to the squad," said Mowbray when the news of his interest broke.
The Celtic manager said Zheng proved a "thorn in our side" when he was manager of West Bromwich Albion.
"Zheng Zhi is a player I have tracked for some time," Mowbray said.
"We now need to tie up loose ends, which we hope to do before our next game."
Zheng decided to leave Charlton in the summer because he did not want to drop down to League One.
He became the first Chinese player to represent the Addicks when he played 12 games on loan for the club in the Premier League in 2006/07.
Charlton were then able to convince the two-time China player of the year to return to sign a permanent deal despite the club's relegation from the top flight, with the club paying Shandong Luneng an initial £1.25m for his services.
He scored nine goals in Charlton's first campaign in the Championship.
Celtic will be hoping Zheng will provide cover following Mowbray's decision to allow Darren O'Dea to join Reading on loan and Massimo Donati to move to Bari.
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