Derby are likely to be keen on signing Bent in the summer, given his impressive form during his temporary spell, and the 31-year-old admits that he isn’t going to close any doors.
Bent is still in talks with Villa over potentially staying there and plans to assess all of his options when the 2014/15 campaign comes to a close.
"There have been conversations with Villa regarding the future and I need to have a think about things in the summer,” he said.
“I’m not ruling out going back, just like I wouldn’t rule out staying at Derby because they have given me a lifeline to play football and score goals again. But yes, there’s been discussions [with Villa] and we will have to look at it."
Bent's future at Villa appeared to be over under Paul Lambert, but it seems that Tim Sherwood has a better opinion of the experienced front-man.
It means that he could return to Villa Park with a point to prove, were he to agree an extension to an expiring contract, but there is no doubt that he is enjoying his time at the iPro currently.
Bent has scored seven times in his first 11 games at Derby and he is already a fans' favourite with the Rams, who he is looking to fire to promotion.
If he does help Steve McClaren's side into the Premier League then a transfer to Derby could look very appealing, but it seems that his future is firmly up in the air at this present time.