Albirex Niigata's Ryotaro Ito (L) equalizes against J-League first-division opponents Yokohama F Marinos at Niigata's Denka Big Swan Stadium on May 14, 2023. (Kyodo)

Albirex Niigata midfielder Ryotaro Ito is expected to leave the J-League first-division club for Sint-Truiden in the Belgian top flight, sources revealed Sunday.

The 25-year-old playmaker has appeared in all 16 league games for promoted Niigata this season, scoring seven goals.

Ito signed with Urawa Reds from his high school in Okayama Prefecture in 2016 and was loaned to Mito Hollyhock and Oita Trinita before moving to Niigata last season.

A creative attacker, Ito is regularly tasked with taking free kicks and corners for Albirex. He is expected to play his final game for the club at home to Kyoto Sanga on June 11.

He will be the latest in a succession of Japanese players to join Sint-Truiden, owned by Japanese e-commerce and internet company

The club is set to appoint German manager Thorsten Fink, formerly in charge of the J-League's Vissel Kobe, as its new head coach from next season.