Republic of Ireland international Alex Bruce could be on the verge of a change of allegiance that would see him represent Northern Ireland instead. Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington has held talks with Leeds defender in an attempt to convince him to ditch the Republic, according to the BBC. Bruce has two international caps, but both came in friendly games in 2007 and 2008. Without having represented the Republic in a competitive international, he remains eligible for Northern Ireland. Several Northern Ireland-born players have recently turned down NI to play their international football south of the border. The most notable examples are Manchester United midfielder Darron Gibson, Everton's Shane Duffy, Stoke's Marc Wilson and Preston's Daniel Devine. Newcastle United's left-sided player Shane Ferguson, who represented Northern Ireland in a friendly against Italy two years ago, has also hinted that he is considering switching his international allegiance too. Bruce is eligible to playfor Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and England, where he was born. He was called into the Northern Ireland Under 21 squad but opted to play for the Republic of Ireland Under 21s instead. Bruce played for the senior squad against Ecuador in New York in 2007 and against Poland a year later at Croke Park, but has never been selected by current manager Giovanni Trapattoni. He also captained the Republic's B team in a game against Nottingham Forest in 2008. Northern Ireland manager Worthington said: "I've just got to be patient like everybody else and see what the outcome is. "When I spoke to him he's been very enthusiastic." Worthington has in the past signalled his discontent with players born in Northern Ireland representing the Republic. But he chose to play the issue down yesterday. He added: "Not that many have gone to the Republic at this moment in time and hopefully that's the way it stays. "We want all our players from the North of Ireland to stay in the North of Ireland. "We've got a fantastic young set-up, with players coming through to be part of that. There is a wonderful spirit. "We will welcome them into our group like we do any other."