The EFL said it was yet to receive a complaint or any contract from Derby County after the club claimed a man seen acting suspiciously outside their training ground was a Leeds United employee.
Police were called to Derby’s training complex yesterday’s morning, little over 24 hours before tonight’s game between the two clubs at Elland Road, following concerns raised by members of County’s staff.
No arrest was made and a statement from Derbyshire Police confirmed that “routine checks” were “above board” but Derby released a statement at lunchtime today saying the man, who was reported to have been in possession of binoculars, was a member of United’s footballing staff.
Derby are in discussions with Leeds over the incident, which has prompted suggestions that the Elland Road side were spying on Frank Lampard’s squad ahead of this evening’s important Championship fixture.
Lampard, who has a major doubt over winger Harry Wilson, is reported to have halted a training session while Derby waited for the local police to arrive.
An official complaint could be made to the EFL or the Football Association but the EFL said today: “We are aware of the reports in relation to an incident at the training ground of Derby County.
“It is, of course, up to Derby County as to how they progress this matter but as of yet we have received no complaint or contact from the club.”
Leeds have given no response so far but Derby’s statement made clear their belief that the man was a member of the backroom set-up under United head coach Marcelo Bielsa.
“Derby County can confirm that officers from the Derbyshire Constabulary were called to the Derby County training centre at around 11.20am on Thursday, January 10 following reports of a man acting suspiciously outside the premises,” the statement read.
“It has since been confirmed to Derby County that the individual concerned is an employee of the footballing staff at Leeds United. The club is now in discussion with Leeds United club officials in relation to this incident.”