Napoli coach Rafa Benitez is ready to rescue Juan Mata from Chelsea in January. Mata's team-mates are mystified over Blues manager Jose Mourinho's tough stance on the player who was left out of the squad for yesterday's derby against Fulham.

Benitez, now in charge at Napoli, is prepared to make himself even more unpopular with the Chelsea fans by attempting to take advantage of Mata's situation in the January transfer window.

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."