Tony Adams
Tony Adams is said to be on the cusp of a shock return to ArsenalGetty Images

Arsenal have held talks with Tony Adams about returning to the club as part of a new-look coaching set-up. The former Gunners skipper is reportedly being lined up to coach the under-18s team.

Adams, 49, won four league titles and three FA Cups during a trophy-laden spell at the club and is regarded as one of Arsenal's greatest-ever players. Since leaving the Gunners in 2002, Adams has pursued a career as a coach, achieving mixed results en route.

Adams has spent time in charge of Wycombe Wanderers, Portsmouth and Azeri side Gabala. But having not coached since 2011, it appears Arsenal are set to offer him a route back into the English game, according to The Mirror.

Although neither have agreed a deal with the club, Adams and Thierry Henry have both reportedly held talks with the Gunners about returning to work with the under-18 side. Adams has already taken training sessions at Arsenal's London Colney training ground, but any potential move is complicated by his ongoing sporting director role at Gabala.

The move would come as a surprise after Adams criticised Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger for sticking so rigidly to his attack-minded approach. Adams – who was Wenger's first captain at the club –suggested the Frenchman needed to pay more attention to the defensive side of the game in order to win the Premier League crown again.

"He has got a great offensive unit, but I think he is neglecting the defensive side and I think that's where the problem lies," Adams told Inside Futbol in 2015. "If they strengthen that area I think they could go and win the league, but I think that's the error of the team.

"He sticks to his principles and he wants his team to be offensive. When Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole left they were the last of the old guard who understood how to defend and prioritise that department.

"I think that when they left there was no one else that understood that and the club hasn't been the same defensively since," Adams explained. "I think if he put the balance right with regard to their defence/offence he would win the league. It certainly seemed in recent years that whoever won the league has been very good defensively."