According to the Daily Express, Sabatini has flown to England to discuss transfer talks with Chelsea while also negotiating Mattia Destro's potential move to Tottenham.
Benatia, 27, has emerged as one of Serie A's best centre-backs since his move from Clermont in 2010. The Moroccan international, who is also being tracked by Manchester United, is reportedly valued at £30m by the Italian giants.
Jose Mourinho admitted that Chelsea could make some moves in the transfer market before the transfer deadline on September 2, and centre-back is potentially an area to improve for the Stamford Bridge boss.
David Luiz left Chelsea for Paris Saint Germain for €50m earlier this summer and has not been replaced. French youngster Kurt Zouma could step up into that role for the Blues, but he's untested in the Premier League following his move from St Etienne.
United need one too
Manchester United meanwhile, are also desperate to land defensive reinforcements before the close of the window. No longer able to call on Rio Ferdinand or Nemanja Vidic, United currently only have Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans.
Van Gaal is also trying to clinch a deal for Sporting's versatile defender Marcos Rojo, although that move has hit complications regarding third party ownership. Should it collapse completely, United may be too late to switch their attention back to Benatia, as Chelsea appear to be the clear frontrunners at this stage.