Former Welsh international John Hartson has claimed that wantaway Tottenham star Gareth Bale was sensible to miss training as he looks to complete a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid.
24-year-old Bale has been the subject of transfer speculation linking him with a move to La Liga throughout the current window and is believed to be becoming increasingly frustrated with his current employers as they seek to get the best deal possible for their most prized asset.
Bale drew criticism from Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas recently for failing to report back to the club earlier this week after his return from Spain. Yet Hartson, who won 52 caps for Wales during a ten-year international career, says his compatriot made the sensible choice and thinks Spurs should go easier on the winger.
"I think Tottenham are being a bit ridiculous over that," Hartson told BBC Sport. "I don't think Gareth's to blame there. Gareth's probably a bit confused and probably a bit frustrated with what's going on right now.
"I think it was the sensible thing [to miss training]. If he goes into training all a sudden all the cameras are on him and everything else. I think they should cut him a bit of slack.
"They're just about to get £86m for him and they want to fine him an extra couple of hundred grand. I think a little bit of common sense should prevail there."
Spurs, who appear fully prepared to let the saga involving Bale run to the final day of the transfer window, are believed to be on the verge of securing a deal for Argentine starlet Erik Lamela from Serie A outfit Roma.
Villas-Boas' men, who have begun the 2013/14 Premier League campaign with consecutive victories, are in action once again on Sunday afternoon as they make the short trip to the Emirates Stadium to contest the North London derby against bitter rivals Arsenal.
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