Derby boss Paul Jewell says he is not after Leeds striker Jermaine Beckford and has accused the United boss Dennis Wise of showing a lack of respect.
Beckford has been in irresistible form this season for United
Wise said Leeds were a bigger club than Derby and said he did not see why his 16-goal leading scorer would want to join the Premier League strugglers.
But Jewell told BBC Radio Derby: "I think it's pretty disrespectful.
"I've got no interest in Jermaine. We're looking at a better quality player than that."
Beckford, 24, netted his 16th of the season in the win over Crewe on Monday, with Jewell watching on.
The Rams boss added: "I heard Dennis's comments.
"I don't know if he's trying to be big or score points with the Leeds fans. I wouldn't make a comment as I think it's pretty disrespectful for managers to talk about other teams unless they say nice things."
There are a lot of people looking at him but the problem they've got is he loves this club
Wise had earlier said Derby had no chance of signing Beckford anyway, insisting: "We're a bigger club than Derby. OK, we're in League One, but why would he want to go there?
"If you're talking about the big four or five then it's a bit different, but at the moment I'm not prepared to let him go to a place like Derby."
Beckford has continued the superb form he enjoyed in the second half of last season on loan at Scunthorpe, where he netted eight times in 17 starts.
However, Wise says anyone keen on buying his star man is heading for disappointment.
"There are a lot of people looking at him but the problem they've got is he loves this club," the United manager added.
"He likes working with us and the lads, and he likes the environment - that's important to a player."