Date: 8th January 2008 at 1:27pm
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Leeds United release a worrying statement claiming that Jermaine Beckford is not for sale, despite reported interest from Premier League side Derby County.

In what I consider to be something along the lines of the dreaded managerial vote of confidence, a spokesman for the club has confirmed that League One’s top goal scorer will not be departing Elland Road during this months transfer window.

Beckford has been linked with a move to Pride Park, where Derby boss Paul Jewell is attempting a squad re-shuffle to help with his great Premiership relegation escape plan with an offer thought to be incoming of around the £3million mark to test the resolve of Ken Bates.

The striker surprisingly remained at United following their relegation, despite interest from Championship side Scunthorpe United, with whom he spent some time of last season on loan.

The statement, published on official club website Leedsunited.com reads:

‘Jermaine Beckford is not for sale.

‘Jermaine is a key part of the club’s progress on the pitch under Dennis Wise and there is no reason why he can’t reach his ambitions of playing at the highest level with Leeds United.’

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