The 25-year-old has failed to impress new manager Jose Mourinho and will be offered an escape route in January by Benitez.
The Sunday Mirror reports that even the Chelsea players are surprised by Mourinho’s treatment of Mata since returning to Stamford Bridge.
Mata was left out of the Chelsea squad for the clash with Fulham on Saturday.
A source told the Sunday Mirror: “The players are as surprised as everyone over Mourinho’s treatment of Mata.
“Most of the players thought Mata was Chelsea’s best player last season and would never have imagined his place would be under threat.”
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Chelsea have struggled to build momentum in the opening stages of the campaign and are currently looking over their shoulders at the relegation zone.
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