The 52-year-old, who played over 300 games in the claret and amber, will leave Cambridge United, where he works as head of recruitment under ex-Leeds United and Sheffield United midfielder Shaun Derry, to link up again with good friend Stuart McCall.
The chief scout role has been vacated by Tim Breacker, who was part of Phil Parkinson’s team at Valley Parade.
The City boss has already brought in Steve Banks as his new goalkeeping coach, while Robert Lossau has been named as his fitness and conditioning coach.
After finishing his playing career, Abbott went into coaching and served for a number of years at Leeds United’s academy before moving into management at Carlisle United, first as assistant and then as full-time boss.
He later worked as assistant to Derry at Notts County ahead of his current role at Cambridge.