Sevilla have been linked with the big centre-half and Hughes says: "Samba's a great player and he is getting better. He works hard because he is so keen to be a success.
"He is a big guy and he's quick. We saw that in a race with Andy Johnson.
"Samba may be another 'find' and the same goes for Santa Cruz. But I can't keep pulling them out of the hat. I trust the eye I have for players.
"I can recognise talent in those who will improve here and I back my judgment."