Stan Ternent has hit back at Leeds after Dennis Wise questioned why Jermaine Beckford would want to join Derby.
The Rams are currently struggling in the Premier League while Leeds are pushing for promotion for League One.
Derby have been linked with a move for Beckford, but Wise rubbished the speculation by insisting that Leeds were the bigger club of the two.
Ternent, assistant manager at Pride Park, doubts whether Leeds are a bigger club than Derby.
He believes Beckford may be attracted to Derby by the prospect of playing at a higher level next season.
"Leeds are a big club with a fantastic following but Derby are a massive football club as well," Ternent told Sky Sports News.
"I would not like to say which is the bigger club, but certainly Derby are certainly in front of Leeds at the moment.
"They have had takeovers and been in admin, but Dennis has done very well there.
"Why would Beckford want to go to Derby? He might want to play in the Championship next year."