Everton sacked Rafael Benitez last weekend following a dreadful run of results and are looking to bring in a new manager before Saturday’s home game against Aston Villa.
Rooney is in contention following the good work he is doing at Derby, but Roberto Martinez is believed to be Everton’s top target for their next manager’s role.
But Bent feels given what Rooney has been doing at Derby, the former Everton striker should be the natural choice to be the next Toffees boss.
However, the former striker believes Everton should give the job to Duncan Ferguson on an interim basis and keep tabs on Rooney’s work at Derby until the end of the season.
Bent believes if he continues to do a good job at Derby, Rooney should be the next Everton manager in the summer.
He said on talkSPORT: “My obvious choice would be Wayne Rooney, I think he would be the one I would go and get.
“He is doing an absolutely fantastic job at Derby right now.
“They have given themselves a chance of survival as they are now just eight points from safety given the 21-point deduction.
“I’d give it to Wayne but I would probably wait. I’d get Big Duncan until the end of the season.
“He is already there, he understands the football club, the fans love him and he has shown as an interim manager that he can get results
“So I’d probably look to give it to him until the end of the season and give Wayne the full season at Derby and then go and get him.
“If they are going to make a decision at the end of the season who their long term manager is going to be, it has to be Wayne Rooney.”
It remains to be seen whether Everton decide to take a gamble on Rooney given his relative inexperience.