QPR boss Hughes is keen on linking up with the 25-year-old, who has been told he has no future at the club the Welshman used to manage.
Roberto Mancini has agreed to sell Onuoha this January and Hughes has registered an interest - but the QPR manager says nothing is certain just yet.
Hughes said: "We have obviously declared an interest and I think its progressing, I don't think we are at a point where we can confirm or say 'yes it will definitely happen.' We are hopeful but it's not been confirmed yet. If it can happen I'll be delighted."
Hughes also insists that Adel Taarabt is staying at Loftus Road this month.
Taarabt is currently on international duty with Morocco at the Africa Cup of Nations and has been linked with a move away from QPR this month, with Paris St. Germain long-term admirers.
But Hughes is eager to keep him at the club, adding: "He is a very talented boy, I haven't even had the opportunity to say hello to the boy yet as obviously my appointment came after he left the club for the African Cup of Nations.
"Yes, obviously ideally we want them knocked out very, very quickly so we can get him back and training with the group again.
"He is a talented player, one that can change games and I think all teams in the Premier League need a player that has the ability to create the unexpected. He is certainly our player in that respect."