Ellis Short decided to adopt a Continental management structure during the summer, with De Fanti installed as the club’s first director of football to oversee Sunderland’s recruitment.
Despite the dismissal of Paolo Di Canio, that system will remain, with De Fanti and Sunderland’s all-Italian scouting team still in place at the Stadium of Light.
Poyet spent 16 months working alongside ex-Manchester City, Fulham and Southampton scout David Burke at Brighton.
Gus Poyet: “I am used to it. It was a process we had a Brighton as well.
“At Brighton I was the manager and then the chairman came to me and asked me to work with a sporting director, who took the title head of football operations.
“It amounts to the same thing.
“I was not afraid because I know what I want and I know how it (the system) works.
“As long as we are all on the same page and we are all realistic, I have no issues.
“I need to make sure that I connect well with him (De Fanti) and that we have a good working relationship.
“It is not about simply being friends, but making sure that you understand one another – for him to understand what we need and for him to find what we need.”