The Spanish playmaker has endured a difficult season at Stamford Bridge so far, with Jose Mourinho having diluted his role within the first-team.
Despite having been the focal point of the Blues midfield for some time – and the Player of the Year on the last two occasions – Mata has found himself relegated to the bench in favour of the more industrious Willian and Oscar.
With the 2014 World Cup on the horizon, the 25-year-old is desperate for regular action, which has prompted talk of moves away from West London.
Tottenham were linked with a swoop for the silky midfielder over the summer, and could reignite their interest if Lamela leaves the club in the coming weeks.
The Argentine arrived at White Hart lane a matter of months ago in a club-record £30m deal, but has failed to settle in England.
He is rumoured to be desperate to return to Italy – where he was successful with Roma – with a number of sides chasing a loan deal for his services.
Although Spurs are adamant he will not leave, the player’s desire may be enough to push through a return to Serie A.
If he does go Mata is seen as an ideal alternative, with Sherwood keen to offer him guaranteed action.